Choosing a Buyer's agent
Hopefully sometime in the near future we'll start the house hunt in the town we're moving to. I'm thinking it's about time I turn my energies toward picking a good agent to work with. With previous houses, the relocation company has given me one, but now I'm on my own to select one. I'm looking for tips on how to screen them, other than the 2 pages of interview questions that I'll inevitably come up with. :-)
We're moving to a small town (population 15,000) that has 26 realtors. I've been working here for 3 years now, and have done lots of driving around neighborhoods so I have a sense for where I'd like to live, but I don't know a lot of the stuff that you only learn when you're living in a place, reading the newspaper, participating in community organizations, etc. Stuff like taxes in & out of city limits, school districts (we don't have kids, but need to consider resale), future development plans, etc.
So, any tips for determining who's in and who's out? Since I'm looking for a buyer's agent, screening their listings doesn't help much.
Do I insist on a full time agent?
Do I ask an office to run me an MLS report showing who's closed the most sales on the selling side and pick from one of the top ones there? That seems like it would matter less than on the listing side.
I've asked for referrals from colleagues, and one name came up. But she quite literally has 25% of the listings in town. That means there's a high probability that we'd end up in a dual agency situation, which I'd prefer to avoid.
Any other tips in starting the culling would be appreciated.