Who's the Best Realtor?

J.D. Power, the market research firm best known for its customer satisfaction surveys of new cars, came out today with its first-ever survey of real estate agents. This has got to be a tough time to do this product launch.

The big winners were Keller Williams, which had the highest rank among home buyers. Prudential scored highest among home sellers. J.D. Power explains that it needs two winners because buyers and sellers are looking for different skills. Buyers want someone who’s available when they call, responsive to problems and helps negotiate a good deal. Sellers want someone who can market their property. Coldwell Banker and RE/MAX also scored highly.

A few interesting stats: Half of all customers found their agents through family or friends. Home buyers were shown an average of 13 houses before making a purchase. Sellers say their homes were shown eleven times.

In the interest of full disclosure, J.D. Power is, like BusinessWeek, a division of the McGraw-Hill Cos. (Although nobody forced me to write this column. I swear.)

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