Choosing a REALTOR
Real estate. What comes to mind when you think about buying or selling a home? Excitement? Stress? Both? Whatever your feelings are towards real estate there is no denying that it is one of the biggest transactions that you will be involved in over the course of your life. For this reason it is important to chose a REALTOR who you are comfortable with and who is working for YOU. Detailed below are some tips to keep in mind when you are searching for your Real Estate Agent.
Top 9 Tips for Choosing a REALTOR
1. Interview candidates
First things first, put the time in to finding an agent that works for you. You want to hopefully find someone who’s business plan you agree with and who’s personality goes well with yours. Whether you are buying or selling a home you will potentially be spending a lot of time with your agent, therefore you want to make sure that they are someone that you get along with or else things can get awkward real fast.
2. Look at How Long They’ve Been in the Business
In Real Estate experience counts. Look for an agent who has been in the business for some time, agents who are just starting out are still figuring out the ins and outs of the Real Estate business and you will be part of their learning curve, therefore might not receive the type of service you were looking for. An established REALTOR has already had time to develop their career and a good client base and will most likely have YOUR best interests at heart, instead of just being in it for the commission.
3. Talk with Recent Clients
If possible, ask realtors to speak with some of their previous clients, especially clients who had a really positive or negative experience. Take it a step further and outline your Real Estate needs and ask to speak with clients who’s needs were similar to your own, this will help to give you a good idea about how the REALTOR works and what type of experience you are likely to have.
4. Local Agent
There are so many benefits to choosing a local agent. For one, an agent who has been in the same area for a long time will come with a plethora of knowledge about the area, market conditions and what buyers are looking for. Not only will they have all the information, but they’ll have had time to form valuable relationships with other local agents. This means that they will have inside information about what listings are coming up on the market and what other agents buyers are looking for which can help lead to a quick transaction.
5. Look at current listings
Do some research. Look at current listings online, in the paper and on MLS to get a rough idea about the current market situation and set your expectations accordingly. In a Seller’s market you’ll most likely be able to list for a little higher than normal, likewise if you’re a buyer you might want to consider looking a little under your budget as bidding wars are common practice in a Seller’s market.
6. Online Presence
Most buyers start their search online now days, wouldn’t you agree? Having a strong online presence can make or break your listing. By broadcasting your home online, you can guarantee that it will get thousands of views on a multitude of platforms, this will most likely lead to a larger amount of showings and interest in your home.
7. Own Website
An agent that has invested in having their own website is an agent that is invested in their career and therefore you know they are invested in your needs. Having your own website provides valuable online traffic and tons of exposure for your listing, it also provides a useful platform for buyers to do their own research. Not only is having a website a valuable tool for researching homes, but it also allows you to get a feel for the agent and how they work.
Sure their are agents that are inhumanely busy and do a ton of deals every year, but will they have time for you and all of your needs? Choosing an agent who has a good reputation but who will still have time for you is key. There is no 9-5 in real estate, meaning that you shouldn’t need to take time off work in order to go see houses, your agent should be available to you. Be considerate of their time (agents have lives too) but you want to choose someone who will be there for you. This is another benefit of having a local agent, they live in the area so theoretically they’re never too far away!
Phone, texting, email, voicemail, the list goes on. Choose an agent who will keep you updated during the process and will make sure you understand what is happening at all times. You don’t want to go into a deal in the dark about what is required of you or what happens after the transaction closes. First time home buyers will want to take extra caution in this area as there are many aspects of buying a home that are not common knowledge.