Whether you are buying or selling your home, every experience is unique. Your needs, budget, preferences, and depth of search change as the market changes. That’s why many homebuyers and sellers often rely on the guidance of a realtor to help them along in the process.
However, in order for everything to go smoothly, you should ensure you have hired the right person for the job. If you are not familiar with the real estate market, picking an experienced and trustworthy realtor may be a bit difficult.
We combined a few important tips on how to choose a realtor to help you during the homebuying or selling process. Read below to learn what they are.
Photo by Maria Ziegler from Unsplash
Get a referral from a friend
A referral to a great agent for real estate is best received from someone who has worked with them personally. You can ask a family member or a close friend to recommend a local agent or use a review site like Zillow, Yelp, or Google to start looking for potential prospects.
This gives you the perfect opportunity to get a real insight into the realtor’s experience and quality work and investigate their reputation. You want an agent who is well-connected and knows their way around the real estate market, especially in the area where you are looking to buy or sell a home.
Note responsiveness and communication style
When you begin looking for a realtor, the first thing you should notice is their responsiveness. A top-quality agent should be able to respond in a reasonable time frame, catering to your needs as the homebuying or selling process evolves.
The truth is with today’s advanced technology and means of communication, there is no reason for your realtor to delay meeting or talking with you. An agent who is responsive is able to navigate your search and jump on hot properties. They will also likely have the availability to give the attention you need.
Ask for credentials
You should ensure that your agent has the proper state-issued certification and specialization to work as a realtor. If you fail to do this, it could easily lead to contradicting regulations or legal problems down the line. The three terms you will often hear when looking for an agent’s credentials are real estate agent, realtor, and broker.
A real estate agent is an individual licensed to sell or buy residential or commercial real property.
A realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and who must be active in the field, has not been subject to any formal proceedings, and has no recent or pending bankruptcy.
A broker is a licensed real estate agent who has received additional education in the state they are licensed to practice, and who manages or owns real estate agencies.
Look at their experience
Some real estate agents will have more experience in dealing with specific buying and selling scenarios than others. For example, first-time homebuyers may need a little more assistance as they will be new to the market, and those relocating will need an agent with a deep understanding of a city’s neighborhoods and lifestyles.
Whatever your case may be, you should choose an agent with extensive experience in working with buyers and sellers similar to you, whether you are downsizing or looking to purchase a foreclosure. For instance, if you are selling a single-family house, make sure your agent doesn’t usually represent selling condos. In addition, you shouldn't pick a realtor who operates in the city, if you are moving to the suburbs.
Conduct an interview
Before you officially hire your realtor, it is advised that you first conduct an interview to make sure you have found the right person for the job. This will give you the ideal opportunity to ask some very important questions which will tell you what you need to know about their expertise in the field.
Examples of questions that will show you what your agent is truly made of:
- How long have they been in real estate?
- How many properties have they helped buyers purchase last year?
- How many properties have they sold recently or in the last year?
- Do they have referrals?
Photo by Amy Hirschi from Unsplash
Whether you are buying or selling your home, make sure you hire a realtor to help you in the process. This person is an expert in the field and has the right tools and resources to guide you every step of the way and ensure you are getting the best deal.
For more information, be sure to follow the tips from our post to help you find the right realtor for you.
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