Essentials for Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Choosing which real estate agent to work with when buying or selling your home can seem daunting. Below are a few suggestions to help to make your search successful.
It’s probably best to seek agent with experience to help you to navigate through any situation relative to your particular real estate transaction. While experience doesn’t always equal success, a poor real estate agent will typically not survive if their service is inferior. Don’t hesitate to ask how many years of experience an agent has before choosing to work with them. It’s also essential to consider an agent that has experience with both buyers and sellers. An agent that has experience with both understands property transactions from either side and can better anticipate potential questions and/or problems, especially if you need to sell your current home to buy another.
Of course, an agent you like that has less experience than others may make up for a lack of experience with other attributes, such as excellent customer service skills, extended accessibility, detailed knowledge of the local area, or the agent may work with a whole team of qualified agents.
Ask a potential real estate agent how many clients they typically work with. An agent that works with so many clients at once that they may not have time for you may require reconsideration. Your agent should be available to you when you need them and be able to respond to an inquiry from you within a reasonable amount of time.
Seek out a real estate agent that has intimate knowledge of the local area that you would like to live in, as well as good knowledge of a larger area—but not too large. Most agents would not have intimate, state-wide knowledge versus that of local communities, even though they may say they do.
Ask your real estate to provide you with a list of local vendors such as lenders, contractors, inspectors and others. A successful agent who has been in business in an area for years should have established relationships with these types of businesses.
Much as it is in any relationship, good communication is essential for success in working with a potential real estate agent. Set expectations early with an agent such as how often you can expect updates on the progress of your transaction and if they have an appropriate team that will be able to answer questions about your property in the event they are unavailable; no one likes a last-minute surprise.
Also, it’s important to work with an agent who will ask you the right questions, as well as listen, to learn about you and what your specific needs are. Ask as many questions as necessary until you feel comfortable that you and the agent are on the same page.
Ask for references from your potential real estate agent and contact them. Be aware that an agent will most likely only give you his/her best references to check, so keep that in mind when listening to the reference tell you about their experience with the agent. Be sure to ask the agent for references from both their home buyers and home sellers to get a more well-rounded range of experiences to help in your evaluation.
Real estate agent reviews are also available from online sources, such as Yelp, Google+, Facebook, etc. Here again, some reviewers use the review process as a sounding board to let off steam, so consider that also if you choose to read them.
Century 21 Armstrong Team Realty: We are all REALTORS® and adhere to the Realtor Code of Ethics.