Buying a house can be stressful, but having the right real estate agent can make a big difference. They can help you buy or sell a property quickly and get you the best possible price, too.
Follow these recommendations and improve your chances of a smooth, painless real estate transaction.
A good real estate agent will provide you with a list of buyers and sellers from the past year. You should be able to contact them privately so you can get a good picture of how the agent operates. Ask whether the agent went above and beyond during proceedings or if they had any complaints.
A good real estate agent will also have a high percentage of repeat and referred customers. If someone is willing to use the agent repeatedly, they’re probably doing something right.
A good real estate agent will know the neighborhood and surrounding areas very well, so whether you’re buying or selling they should know what to expect from the market. Have they bought and sold homes similar to yours in the neighborhood? Did they get buyers and sellers the price they wanted?
A good real estate agent knows where the schools, shopping, and parks and recreational facilities are in the area as well as local traffic conditions. They should also know whether it is a safe, family-oriented area and should be able to provide you with additional information regarding crime rates.
A skilled real estate agent negotiates for the best possible terms even if the market is slow. Anyone can sell a property if the price is really low, but a good agent will show you comparable properties in your area and show you how they arrived at their suggested price. Setting the price properly has a definite impact on the overall impression of the property and how quickly it sells.
If the agent you’re considering is a “Realtor” with a capital “R,” they are a member of the National Association of Realtors. They are legally bound by a code of ethics which, protects you from misconduct.
Take a few minutes to search the Multiple Listing Service and the real estate agency’s website. You can learn a great deal about an agent through their online presence and listings.
Does the agent have a healthy number of listings? Is there adequate contact information? Is their branding aligned with the property you’re buying or selling? Are they a condo expert, but you’re dealing with a house?
Excellent Communications & Marketing
Choose an agent who responds to you in a timely manner. This is especially important if you’re conducting business remotely. They might connect by telephone, email, or even Skype or FaceTime, but they should tell you how they’ll regularly communicate with you. Is there someone you can contact if the agent isn’t around?
A good agent also goes the extra mile when they market a property. Do they offer video tours or a personalized marketing plan? Do they promote the property on multiple platforms?
The agent should spell out the exact costs involved, too. Commissions on sales can vary from agent to agent, but a good agent clarifies costs and estimates closing fees too.
These are a few worthwhile suggestions, but how you relate to the real estate agent is important, too. Choose someone you feel comfortable with and who is forthcoming. If you have an uneasy feeling, keep looking. There are many excellent real estate agents out there, so you’re sure to find a fit eventually.