In today’s modern age, online real estate information has grown rapidly making it easier than ever to be a knowledgeable consumer when buying or selling a home. Still, the radical change in the digital world has done little to lessen the importance of choosing the right real estate agent to work with.
There’s a lot at stake in choosing the right real estate agent because it can mean getting a really good price to not selling your house at all. With so many around, it can be difficult deciding who to choose. After all, not all agents are equal. Some are better than others. All you need is to understand what qualities and skills an agent should possess to be qualified.
Here are 25 helpful tips on choosing your property broker or agent
Do some research
A respected real estate agent can network and work cooperatively with other agents. An accomplished agent is more inclined to know other agents in the area and have a good working relationship with them. This results in good transactions.
Talk with recent clients
Request agents to provide a list or archive of what they’ve listed and sold in the last couple of years. Even better if you get the contact information on the list so you can call the people who the agent worked with and get their feedback. If the agent produced positive results before, there’s a good chance it will happen to you too.
Choose from the cream of the crop
Finding the best real estate agent in the business is essential to enjoying a headache free real estate transaction. Peer-given awards count like “Realtor of the Year”, a designation awarded by the state or local branch of an association of realtors.
Look up the licensing
One way to check is through the Verification of Professional Licenses page at the official website of the Professional Regulation Commission or PRC. On this page, you can verify if an individual’s name is listed on the Registry Books of the PRC. Also, check if there have been any disciplinary actions or complaints against the agent.
Pick an agent with the right credentials
Similar to architects, lawyers, doctors, and engineers, real estate agents also have specializations and even generalists will get additional training in some areas. It’s a plus if the agent has taken additional classes in a certain specialty of real estate sales.
Meet agents outside their working environment
The best real estate agents spend very little time at their desks and more time out in the field. The best places to look for are open houses or real estate conferences.
Interview several real estate agents
Not only will it give you a broader pool to choose from but it will help you understand the perspective of the agent as well.
Don’t be fooled by promises of a dream partnership. Be realistic because after all they are still sales people so typically they will tell you what you want to hear.
Get to know the real estate agent personally
Take the time to determine the compatibility between you and the agent. You should make clear with your agent what your expectations and concerns are from the very beginning. This will help build open and honest communication.
10. Research how long the agent has been in business
The state licensing authority can usually help you find out how long the agent has been selling real estate or you can just ask the agent directly. It’s not a good sign if they haven’t been in business for five years. Look for an agent who is actively engaged in a particular area and price range as you’ll want to know what knowledge of those two aspects they can exhibit and what kind of market presence they have.
11. Inquire About Marketing Tactics
Ask how the real estate agent will be marketing your home. Ask if the agent will perform a virtual tour if flyers will be put out for potential buyers and if the agent can assist with staging your home? Each of these points is especially important to the overall impression of the agent.
12. Check if your agent is online
Assuming they will advertize on the internet, you’d want to be listed on the big property portals. Your main concern is optimizing exposure of your home to as many potential buyers as possible.
13. Pick a go-getter
An aggressive and hard-working real estate agent shows dedication. But an agent can sometimes be too busy and this is not good because an agent can only work with a defined number of buyers and sellers at any given time to be effective.
14. Make sure that your agent is knowledgeable
Ask the agent a set of questions from what you’ve learned through your recent interest in real estate. They should know more than you and should be able to assist you throughout the process including lender info that you will have to provide.
15. Ask where the agent lives
A real estate agent that lives and works locally will have a good sense of the market and be able to answer critical questions about the community. They should at least know the schools, hospitals, business and leisure establishments where they work. This is especially vital in big cities.
16. Look at their present listings
Check out the real estate agent’s listings online. You can check the agency’s own site or Google it. Since most buyers start their search on the Internet nowadays, you would want an agent who uses that tool effectively. An attractive presentation on the web is a key sign of a professional real estate agent who understands today’s market.
17. Ask if the agent can recommend service providers
Service providers are those who can assist you in securing a mortgage, making repairs on your home, and other things needed to be done. Remember that a real estate agent should generally recommend more than one provider and shouldn’t receive any additional fee or compensation.
18. Choose a full-time agent
It’s always preferable to work with a full-time real estate agent since a real estate purchase is one of the most important investments you will ever make. They are more committed and experienced than part-time agents.
19. Ask how you’ll be updated
It’s wise to ask how you’ll be kept informed, how frequently and what form of media. Your real estate agent should respond promptly to your emails, phone calls or texts and update you with new developments. A good agent will understand that they should make themselves available accordingly.
20. Choose a skilled agent
A skilled real estate agent is someone with broad experience and knowledge. The agent must not only know how to locate properties, but has skills in negotiation, in understanding contracts, in finding the right lenders and in facilitating agreements.
21. Scan media resources
You cannot always have someone give a recommendation for an agent but you can use other methods such as scanning newspaper ads, search the internet or social media to yield good results.
22. Work with a buyer’s agent if you are a buyer and work with a seller’s agent if you are a seller
Buyer’s agents will better protect the rights of the buyer and seller’s agents will do the best job in securing a qualified buyer that offers the best net profit for the seller.
23. Don’t choose agents that pressure you
Real estate agent that pressure you to sign or list with them is an indication of an impatient agent and unwilling to devote time to your best interests. They also tend to be critical or make negative comments.
24. Keep in mind that asking price isn’t everything
There are other factors that are much more important even though a lot of people will be tempted to focus on the estimated selling price. An agent’s negotiation abilities, regardless of the asking price, is vital in getting the best possible deal. An agent with whom you have a good understanding and whom you can trust to look out for your best interests throughout the sales process is ideally what you’re looking for.
25. Avoid unethical agents
You must be aware of and steer clear of agents that seem unethical or manipulative. A sure sign of a bad agent is one that tries to manipulate you into a shady agreement.
Real estate agents are an integral part of a successful real estate purchase. They must not be overlooked but rather be appreciated. It may seem exaggerated, but having the right agent has a big impact on whether you buy the right home or sell a property. It’s important that you’re confident with your decision when the time comes for any kind of negotiations. In the end, it’s positively worth the extra time and effort to find someone whose experience, personality and skill level fits your needs, and doesn’t stress you with the whole process.
Do you have some tips of your own on how to choose to right property broker or agent? Share them with us.
Cover image courtesy of : http://www.heraldsun.com.au