Whether you have decided to sell your current home, or if you are in the market for your dream house, it is essential to find the right real estate agent to help you. The question then becomes, “How do you choose?”
Much like other relationships in life, be careful not to be fooled by appearances. Sophisticated websites or lawn signs might allude to one’s expertise and professionalism. However, it is in your best interest to conduct your own research and get to know an agent before settling on just anyone.
Below are five reasons why it is critical to choose a real estate agent that is best for you and your family’s needs:
It is generally recommended to hire a real estate agent with at least five years of experience listing and showing properties. You should look for someone who not only has a solid resume but also an impressive client list. It is a wise idea to check references from past and current clients to gather feedback on a particular agent.
Repeat business and longstanding custom relationships are always good signs. You should also ask prospective agents what deals they have closed most recently and inquire about what prices the properties were listed at versus what they sold for.
Both buying and selling a house can take time. That means that you might be spending up to several months working with your real estate agent, to finalize any given purchase or sale. It is easier and much more pleasant to do business with someone who you not only like but who you can also trust.
You will want someone who is well aware of the style, ideal neighborhood, and price point that you are looking for, and is able to make informed suggestions. The little details, such as local parks and playgrounds, commute times to your job, and nearby schools, are also important for your agent to remember.
If you are in an especially eager position to buy or sell a home, the last thing that you need is a slow-to-respond real estate agent. You will want someone to adhere to your preferred method of communication, whether that is text, e-mail, fax, or phone calls.
Many real estate firms task assistants with day-to-day responsibilities that may pertain to your affairs. This is not appealing to some people, since it limits your ability to reach your agent of choice. It is important to work with someone who is dedicated to your needs and goals. Having an agent who is willing to work for you outside of normal business hours could also be the difference between getting a competitive offer in before other buyers and missing the opportunity.
It seems self-explanatory, but you will need someone who is familiar with the areas in where you have interest in buying or selling. Regulations and zoning restrictions often vary by county. It is best to work with someone who is well-versed in the different codes. The agents don’t necessarily have to live in your neighborhood, but that certainly doesn’t hurt.
Someone who specializes in luxury real estate will have a much different skill-set than an agent who works in rural real estate, or beachfront properties. Historic houses also require different expertise, as does the market for senior communities. Additionally, military members have other needs and requirements than regular buyers or sellers. This is beneficial for an agent to know. If you are in need of a niche specialty then you need to do your due diligence and find an agent who accommodates it.
The relationship that you will build with your real estate agent could be one spanning many years, which is why it is critical to choose the right one. You will come to rely on him or her for all of your properties needs and work as a unit to buy and sell your properties.
For this reason, you must first ensure that this person has the required experience. Maintaining some degree of chemistry, as well as communication, keeps you on the same page about your needs.
Finally, the agent must be knowledgeable about your geographic area of interest, and specialize in the type of property you are buying or selling. As soon as you are able to check off these boxes then you can get down to business.