Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®)

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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I don't believe you need to live in a neighborhood to know one well. There are lots of ways to get to know about a neighborhood. At the end of the day, if you can price houses well and market well, the need for intimate knowledge of a neighborhood is greatly inflated in my opinion. I've seen so called "neighborhood specialists and residents" fail to sell homes in their neighborhoods and I've come in with minimal knoweldge but priced and marketed the dickens out of a home and had it sold in days.

May 13, 2019 06:37 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

I could argue both ways but, in the end, it depends on the agent(s).  Living in a neighborhood and even being the undisputed local expert in that community is only ONE aspect of being a great agent.  There are so many layers, you can't put too much emphasis on any one aspect. 

May 13, 2019 07:00 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Yes and no Larry Lawfer . While Minot is a small city of 45,000 and most agents know the town pretty well I can assure you that the community of say one mile around an agents home is going to be best known by that agent. Case in point: I know exactly which homes were restored properly in my neighborhood after our devistating flood in 2011 and I know which ones were remodeled by hucksters who just slapped sheetrock over dirty molding walls.  Having lived in my neighborhood for 16 years I know the school, it's teachers, and all the neighborhood has to offer. This is NOT knowledge that an agent would have who lives as little as a mile away and it's not info you will find in the Internet either.

May 13, 2019 07:01 AM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited® - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

I can play this both ways in my head and I have lived both sides in my career. I think the internet portals like town websites, Facebook, and many other sites can give you a deep dive into what is going on in a neighborhood. On the other side a neighbor might have a more granular understanding because they go to town meetings and are active in the community and know what is happening in regards to zoning and taxes before the internet reports on the meetings.  This deep knowledge, helpful as it is, does not define you as a competent agent, but it is one check on the board of skills that is good to have.

May 13, 2019 06:50 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

This is a good question and the answer is truly one where it depends on lots of scenarios, the people involved and more.  There's nothing quite like "living the life" but there is something about the numbers/the "electronics" that are also beneficial.  Is 100% of one or the other the answer or is it a combination of those traits(and others) that "work" in a given situation?

May 13, 2019 06:49 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Most folks live in an area for many years and know nothing, others spend a few moments online and know much more about what makes homes sell there and how to price them right.

May 13, 2019 10:02 AM
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

That is a broad question loaded with limitless answers.  I'd say, it depends. 

On many factors. 

May 13, 2019 09:01 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Depends on what you know and how you know it. There's an area near me where one tiny block has the privileges of a neighboring subdivision. Another is approximately half a dozen homes in a subdivision that have no privileges. If an agent bothered to read the legal description of the home, they would know that.

May 13, 2019 07:01 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

No you don't. They may be and may not be more knowledgeable. Living in the neighborhood and even being more knowledgeable doesn't make them a better Agent. I sell homes in hundreds of neighborhoods in various towns and counties. We're spread out here in Raleigh. Look at their stats. I've seen a neighborhood or two where an agent got so comfortable that he/she held down the values. It was only when outside agents came in that values began to rise. 

May 13, 2019 06:39 AM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

You can easily know the statistical information for the neighborhood but not the intricacies or fabric of the neighborhood 

May 13, 2019 12:46 PM
Diana Zaccaro
Tropical Beachside brokered by eXp - Cocoa Beach, FL
"The Accidental Blogger" Cocoa Beach, Florida

Yes, it gives you a huge edge. My market is a popular vacation / second home destination so accurate information is a must. I recently had a referral from an out of state agent who wanted a local agent who lives on the beach, works on the beach, knows the beach like the back of her hand and has "boots on the ground" knowledge of the market, all of which I have.

The internet is a fountain of mis-information and I spend way too much time educating consumers who think because they saw it on the internet, it must be true.   

May 13, 2019 12:03 PM
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

Do you "Have" to live in a neighborhood to be knowledgeable about it - certainly not. However, it is possible that an agent that lives in the neighborhood may be more knowledgeable about various things that do help them "sell" the home. And for a buyer's agent knowing things like noise, neighborhood politics, the "party" homes, that Bill two homes down has a load Harley he takes out every Saturday morning at 7:00am that rattles every house on the street when he takes off are a huge benefit for a local neighborhood agent that can help a buyer's agent do a better job for their buyer. For a listing agent, they know about the fabulous tomato soup at the little cafe around the corner, that the neighbors get together and have a block party once a month or other perks or plus points that one doesn't necessariy find on line to use as marketing points or to simply "sell" the place by talking up the plus points that go beyond photos and comps.

May 13, 2019 10:06 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Since theoretically we sell lifestyles it behooves agents to reside where they are most knowledgeable. That being said not all who reside in neighborhoods which they service are fully aware of their surroundings and and its happenings.

May 13, 2019 09:58 AM
Sharon Altier, SFR
Lawton Realty Group, Inc. - Elmhurst, IL
Your Real Estate Partner

Not necessarily. If that agent is actually showing the home and selling the neighborhood, that may make a difference. All too many agents slap a lock on the door and never attend showings.  So, if that is the case, whether one lives in the hood or not does not matter.

May 13, 2019 09:50 AM
Greg Large
ERA Real Solutions - Grove City, OH
A Tradition of Trust

no, there are many ways to be knowledgeable in a neighborhood besides living there.

May 13, 2019 09:14 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Lend Smart Mortgage, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Sometimes this is true if there is impending changes to HOA rules or a special assessment that hasn't yet been approved. Otherwise , No

May 13, 2019 07:21 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

the Internet does not know personalities and/or personal situations that have an influence on the reputation of the neighborhood.... I can clearly remember one subdivision I had listed that was upscale but the personalities and "questionable habits and DISPLAYS" during parties gave it a reputation that only those who live in the area and/or knew people would know.... 

the Internet shares the basic facts that are verifiable....there is info beyond that and it could make a potential buyer NOT buy there....

those folks have sold and moved on now!!!!  no more kinky parties in that 'hood....

May 13, 2019 07:14 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I actually say yes (1st Q) & here's why. When I have a farm where I continually get a higher price/value for a seller & other agents do not (give away) how is that doing an area justice? 

If your neighborhood trends are 6 months behind how are you getting the seller the most $?

When you list a property & then don't even list the features that future buyers want, how does that benefit the neighborhood.

Yes, granted, the internet makes it easier but then not. I do not go into the city of Chicago but I can. They are neighborhood centric & I know that I don't know squat about the trends. 

May 13, 2019 06:40 AM
Peter Testa
Nationwide Homes - Danbury, CT

Living in the neighborhood or having lived in the neighborhood would give you additional insight into that neighborhood that would not compare to what you'd find online. That one thing doesn't qualify someone as the better Realtor though. 

May 13, 2019 01:32 PM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

You do not have to live in a neighborhood to have knowledge in the community. 

May 13, 2019 01:03 PM
Susie Kay
Ultima Real Estate - Plano, TX
North Dallas Specialist

I can see both sides arguing about it and each has a point.  In the end, I think is the agent that is hired that will make the difference. 

May 13, 2019 11:08 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

It really depends on the agent. You are right, much can be learned from research; local agents' knowledge may be more anecdotal.

May 13, 2019 09:59 AM
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

In short, no way.  Living next to the neighbor with the rock band practicing after they get off work at 2am is personal knowledge. 

May 13, 2019 08:56 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

It depends on the agent.  We have a client that has lived in her neighborhood since she moved there.  She reigns as the neighborhood expert.  Another one has the same title, but does not live there.  However, he is an avid tennins player and has a membership at the club in that neighborhood.  A

May 13, 2019 08:15 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

There's always an interesting tidbit about a neighborhood that not everyone knows about - I make it my mission to know that factoid!

May 13, 2019 09:19 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

No. Maybe just know the basics about hoa's and what high scholl kids in that neighborhood attend.

May 13, 2019 10:12 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD


May 13, 2019 07:35 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Information is not regulated and it abounds. We can take any area, investigate it fully and then navigate through it to some successful degree...

May 13, 2019 06:59 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Yes there are ways to become more knowledgeable, and being an agent in the neighborhood does not automatically mean that's the best agent - there are other factors to consider.

May 13, 2019 02:24 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great question.  The Texas Real Estate Commission recently passed a new rule that a broker is responsible for determining geographic competency for each agent they sponsor.

May 13, 2019 02:18 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast


Not always. I'd bet on me I know more than most locals in some areas of big interest to me, due to my research, passion, experience and who I know.

May 13, 2019 11:36 AM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

Some agent neighbors are clueless. You know who u are.

May 14, 2019 04:41 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

No, you do not need to live in a community to know it well. You might have lived there before, have a good friend(s) or family living there that you often visit, or you farm that area, etc. 

As for the Internet, no, Z. or similar platform or out of area agent who never have worked there can not call itself a neighborhood expert. 

May 14, 2019 12:02 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Most disclosures released by owners are not 100% factual. Someone died there. Fire damage, break in ...... Nothing better talk to someone who lived in there long.

At an open house this newer agent claimed this was the best neighborhood and many famous people lived there. I spoil the fun telling visitors outside the property that it was chicken coop farming neighborhood for SF.   Experience is everything.

May 13, 2019 07:19 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA

Well that depends... does the internet give me equal inside to someone who lives in a neighborhood in your market?  Of course not, but general knowledge, a decade of being licensed and a broker/wife who has lived in this market for half a century and been selling real estate for nearly 30 years make me equal to someone in my market who lives in a neighborhood... why yes.  In fact if they haven't lived there but a couple of years I'd be willing to bet my wife knows more about their house/ neighbors and neighborhood than they do in some cases.

May 14, 2019 06:52 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

They should be ?

May 14, 2019 06:42 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Knowing who is sleeping with who does not help in the representation of buyers or sellers. Now it could help in identifying potential listings.

Now, this is where LOCAL is IMPORTANT.

Seymore is running for city council. His tribe, those who wear the bright colored, spandex panties on the racing bicycles, are "ALL_IN" on getting him elected to city council on the liberal wave. The outcome, based on my highly reliabel sources, will be the reconfiguring of city streets to remove street parking and adding a bicycle lane.

Local knowledge regarding how 'no street parking' will affect real estate on that street will be important.

A dedicated bicycle lane out the front door can have an incredible, real-world benefit in regards to affordable housing. Local knowledge can prove beneficial. But, in regards to real estate professionals all that is available is 'reduce the price," MLS marketing and learn the scripts. Unfortunately, this make it difficult to 'see' the difference between the local agent and the discounter who is 20 miles away.

May 14, 2019 05:08 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

That would be a BIG NO. One can be active, knowledgable and can provide a better service than the neighborhood "know it all"

May 14, 2019 04:28 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Not a sure thing.

May 13, 2019 06:32 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I don't believe that, especially if you have sold the majority of the homes.

May 30, 2019 05:42 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I know an agent who puts a sign rider that says Neighborhood Expert on all of his for sale signs in at least three cities. What a crock!


May 16, 2019 01:39 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

You need to do your home work on other neighborhood and you can make lots of listings from it.


May 16, 2019 09:02 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Loaded question. The answer is yes and no! How active is the agent in a neighborhood and what is their commuication network?

May 16, 2019 04:35 AM