How To Choose The Right Real Estate Agent
Try to find someone who understands and protects your interests, particularly financial ones.
When it comes to real estate, people seem to feel detached from understanding the intricacies of an industry that has been around since the year 334 BC when Alexander the Great defeated the Persians to show an aggressive acquisition of real estate by force. Much has changed, of course, and this profitable industry has evolved in different ways, yet real estate remains a practice that seems to always have its tricks.
Maybe your best friend happens to be an agent or real estate broker, but if this doesn’t apply to you, selecting someone to represent you in a real estate transaction can be overwhelming, especially for first-time home buyers. But, this process can always be easier if you are rightfully prepared for the battle. Finding the right agent takes time, research and discipline, plus an important balance between the agent’s credentials and his/her connection with a client. Why? Ultimately, you want to pick someone you feel comfortable with because you will be spending some time with this person. Try to find someone that understands and protects your interests, particularly financial ones.
Overall, there are four key variables when choosing an agent: expertise, exclusive listings, referrals and the number of deals closed. But even though this sounds fairly simple, you can always do and research more until you find the right fit.
Let’s look at some important points:
• Experience: The only source of knowledge is experience, Albert Einstein once said. Therefore, don’t take professionals in this industry for granted. An agent with experience is critical for success in your real estate endeavor. Real estate experts recommend five or more years of experience in the industry. By the way, you can always rely on someone with less experience. Perhaps this person has a smaller clientele, but his/her performance shows a higher number of successful transactions.
• Local Players: Let’s make it clear, real estate is a local game. This means find someone that knows your area. Why? Your agent will be up-to-date with the properties, but also, he or she will know all about market trends, local schools, commute times, grocery stores, and every single detail regarding establishing your house in that specific neighborhood.
• Price Range: When it comes to money, things always get tricky. Always study both – the market and the offer. In addition, inquire about what’s happening in that specific area within your price range. This can help eliminate a few properties that eventually will make you waste time. As mentioned before, research is critical. Ask for recent transactions similar to yours. This includes what the houses were sold for, but also the original listing price.
• Pick a Winner: Awards don’t mean everything, but they add value to your potential agent. Look for a specific one. For example, “Realtor of the Year.” If this is the case, this might be your guy. Usually these agents are judged by their colleagues, which means a lot in such a competitive industry.
• Look for the right credentials and/or referrals: This might be an obvious one, but experienced real estate agents are successful because they have prevailed and gone through different cycles with satisfied and happy clients. Also, you wouldn’t go to a doctor without a referral from someone, or at least checking his/her credentials. Agents do specialize and further educate themselves, therefore you can always ask for their qualifications. For example: Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Realtor – if the agent calls himself a Realtor that means he’s a member of National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Please! Check Agent’s Current Listings
Listings are everywhere so you should know what agents are listings. Does the agent you like use that platform or tool effectively? Find properties similar to the ones you like. Check if all listing are making sense and it’s just not a number. Ask about other properties for sale nearby because a good agent should know everything about properties available in the area you are looking into buy or sell.
Technology is essential when it comes to selling or buying the best property. You do want an agent that is tech-savvy enough to help you do a complete search for all the inventory currently on the market.
Watch Out for the Red Flags!
This is for all sellers out there. You should avoid at all cost listings-hungry agents! They are bad news for everyone: sellers and buyers.
What these agents do is very simple. They take everybody’s listings to make it look like the have a very prosperous business in their hands. Even if your property is overpriced, they will take it. The more the merrier in this case. Even though they know that the chances of selling a house that is beyond the target price is almost impossible, they make an attempt to find someone to fall for it.
And yes, buying the listing works for some agents because they get more exposure. Their names are on a sign in front of a house, and they can easily hold open houses. Next step, bring clients and sale other houses.
Therefore, don’t forget this:
Be careful with the overpricing: Overpricing a house does not help the cause. Your property can be sitting unsold for months. Even if you decided to reduce the price. Real buyers don’t fall for inflated prices.
Listing as much as possible: Yes, this is a practice very common in the industry so be careful. Some agents list as many properties as they can so they can promote themselves. When someone sees that their listing is vast, they might think he or she is solid and prosperous real estate agent, but make no mistake, these agents know what they are doing.
Asking Price: If you let an agent buy your listing at a price that’s not supported by real data, you may regret it later. Why? You haven’t sold your property and your asking price is much lower than what it should have been.