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Tips for hiring an agent and 12 homes you can tour from your couch (July 15)

Buying Beacon Hill Cambridge Jamaica Plain Newton Watertown West Roxbury Winchester
28-Cross-St-Norwell
This four-bedroom Colonial on Cross Street in Norwell offers 3,521 square feet of living space on 1.29 acres and an office with built-ins. Via MLS

Consumers depend heavily upon a real estate agent to sell their homes or guide them during their house hunt, but most don’t invest a lot of time searching for the right one, according to a report the Consumer Federation of America released Monday.

“Most people spend more time picking a restaurant than they do picking a real estate agent,” one agent surveyed responded.

According to the report, 4 out of 5 sellers who used a traditional agent hired one of the first two they met, and 58 percent of these sellers spent less than three hours researching how to sell their home.

The report discusses the limited reliability of reviews on agent’s personal websites and recommends research on the following before hiring one:

  • their years working in the industry and as an agent;
  • whether they have done this work in the neighborhood, city, or region where they are now practicing;
  • whether they are a broker, associate broker, or agent;
  • whether they are a realtor, bound by the industry’s code of ethics and with access to the local Multiple Listing Service;
  • courses, seminars, and other post-certification education;
  • any awards for service; and
  • their community service apart from practicing as an agent.

The report suggested that the most useful and obtainable information about agent experience is the record of their past sales, specifically:

  • whether they represented the seller, buyer, or both;
  • the distribution of sales over time, especially recently;
  • their locations;
  • the number of days the properties spent on the Multiple Listing Service;
  • sale prices; and
  • whether there were any delistings, markdowns, or markups

If you are ready to house hunt, but want to do it from home because of the pandemic, here are 12 must-see properties with 3-D tours — from a two-bedroom Canton town house for $389,999 to a four-bedroom Greek Revival town house in Boston for $3,395,000:

27 Turtle Brook Road, Unit 27, Canton

27-Turtle-Brook

$389,999

2 bedrooms, 2 full baths

1,201 square feet

Kelly White of Redfin Corp has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

327 Arlington St., Unit 3, Watertown

327-Arlington-St

$400,000

1 bedroom, 1 full bath

672 square feet

True Home Partners of Compass has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

53 Paul St., Unit 12, Newton

281-W-2nd

$499,000

1 bedrooms, 1 full bath

875 square feet

Valentina Elzon of Compass has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

46 Jersey St., Unit 2, Marblehead

46-Jersey-Unit2

$515,000

4 bedrooms, 1 full bath, 1 half bath

1,719 square feet

Mindy McMahon of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage-Marblehead has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

9 Berwick St., West Roxbury

9-Berwick-Street

$699,000

3 bedrooms, 2 full baths

1,793 square feet

Judy McNulty of Insight Realty Group Inc. has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

70 Lincoln St., Unit L611, Leather District

70-Lincoln-St-UnitL611-Boston
. —Via MLS

$699,900

1 bedroom, 1 full bath

752 square feet

Sherean Azarmi of Urban Circle Realty has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

131 Green St., Unit 306, Jamaica Plain

131-Green-St

$725,000

2 bedrooms, 2 full baths

1,045 square feet

Tara Wilstein of Compass has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

31 Fulkerson St., Unit 2, Cambridge

31-Fulkerson-St

$749,000

2 bedrooms, 1 full bath

636 square feet

Issam Dib of Skyline Realty has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

28 Cross St., Norwell

28-Cross-St

$949,900

4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 1 half bath

3,521 square feet

1.29-acre lot

Miene Smith of Weichert Realtors-Briarwood Real Estate has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

25 Lakeview Road, Winchester

25-Lakeview-Road

$1,550,000

5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath

3,061 square feet

0.21-acre lot

Elizabeth Darby of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Commonwealth Real Estate has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

***

71 Revere St., Beacon Hill

71-Revere-Boston

$3,395,000

4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 2 half baths

2,859 square feet

Richard R. O’Connor of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing. Take the virtual tour.

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