Good things in this world are hard to find. The same can be said about professional real estate agents. Wherever you look, you will find plenty of real estate agents scattered around your area.
If you’re buying or selling property, the bottom line is that you need to hire a real estate agent you can trust. Finding the best real estate agent for your personal needs does not have to be a major headache. Buying or selling a home can be a stressful process without the right real estate agent. You need an advocate that can help you navigate the market easily for the best possible purchase or sale.
Below are some qualities you should look for in an agent, as well as questions that can lead you to your perfect agent, to make your real estate experience a success.Can they communicate well?
The first important skill a real estate agent should possess is exceptional communication skills because they know it is the key to success. If real estate agents don’t reply to an email or call to provide updates to their clients, they show an unprofessional and uncaring attitude. If they do so, you should steer clear of them. Consider getting real estate agent references friends and family who have sold or purchased a home recently.
Does the agent listen to what you're saying?
Besides being able to impart the right information, a professional real estate agent listens to what their clients have to say. This is just as important as providing information. Unless they know what their clients want – done by listening – they cannot make the right recommendations or provide the right information. If they don't answer your questions, interrupt you, or ignore your requests, move on to another agent.
Is the agent proactive?
Real estate is a time sensitive industry and it is important that the agent is aware of market conditions. This is why they need to be proactive and stay on top of the market. As such, if they provide their clients with the latest information, they are being proactive.
A proactive real estate agent will guide you through the pros/cons and ins/outs of searching for a home in your area. As such, if your real estate agent doesn’t keep your informed with the latest market trends or changes, they are not the right choice.
Can the agent negotiate well?
A real estate agent acts as a bridge between the buyer and seller. Thus, negotiation is the key for real estate agents so that they may keep both parties happy. As such, select a real estate agent who knows how to negotiate well.
Does this agent have a good reputation?
Do some research online and talk to friends to learn about the agencies in your area. If they don’t have good reviews from previous clients, then you may want to look elsewhere for help. Having an established agent market your property will help you sell your property much faster, in most cases.
What is their staff like?
Are the folks who work with the agent knowledgeable? Do they know not only a properties’ features, but also its history. A real estate agent and their staff should also have knowledge of lending institutions, title companies, construction companies, inspectors and others you may have to call on during the buying or selling process.
Can you reach your agent when you need to?
Your agent should be easy to reach, and they should be willing to answer any questions you may have. If your agent seems to be avoiding your calls or texts, it might be a good idea to list with another agency.
Does the agent value honesty?
Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. Ask around about any agents you’re interested in. Find out if they have a reputation for honesty and if they don’t, you should avoid that agency. Professional real estate agents are all about creating positive relations and referrals. As such, some real estate agents either lie or do not provide enough information. As such, if you feel your real estate agent is withholding information or lying to you, you should politely walk away. Remember, a professional real estate agent will be honest because they know that doing so will improve their relations with customers and garner more referrals in the future.
Are their credentials up to par?
Be sure to learn about your agent’s credentials before doing business. At a minimum they should be licensed in your state as a real estate agent. Don’t be afraid to verify this with the agent or your state’s licensing board.
Is your agent moonlighting?
Choosing an agent who runs a real estate business on the side may not be your best bet. Agents who can’t devote adequate time to your needs, or the needs of buyers interested in your home, may spell trouble. Do yourself a favor and hire someone who makes real estate their career, for more focused attention and a better buying or selling experience.
Will this agent represent you well?
Ultimately, your agent is an extension of you and your family during the buying and selling process. You will want to hire an agent with good people skills who can negotiate in an acceptable way and keep their cool. You also want someone who promotes a professional image for themselves and values their personally integrity at all times.
What does their sales record look like?
Don’t be afraid to inquire about your agent's past sales. Having a positive past sales record, and lots of experience, are signs of a great agent. Also, ask for references from previous clients or speak to friends and family for recommendations. Sometimes word-of-mouth is a very powerful marketing tool that speaks for itself.
Do they know the housing market?
Look for an agent who understands your housing market. If you're selling, an agent who is smart and reliable will not automatically suggest you list your home for the highest possible price. They understand that you’ll attract more potential buyers if you price your home at a fair price for the current market. If you're buying, find an agent who knows the neighborhood you want to live in. An agent who really knows the neighborhood will make your house hunt much easier. They’ll also be familiar enough with the market to let you know if the home you're interested in is at a fair asking price.
What's their website look like?
Find an agent with a good website. Many buyers are looking online first and an attractive website will draw in good clients. A good agent will take the time to create a helpful website to attract customers.
Will they work with you?
Look for an agent who is willing to put in the work. While many buyers are looking online first, a good agent knows that homes really sell as a result of a lot of legwork. Your agent should be actively trying to get people to see your home. A helpful real estate agent will likely suggest an open house and offer tips for making your home more desirable to sellers. For buyers, an agent who helps you find homes within (or close to) your price range is your best friend. While an agent may show you homes that are slightly above your range (providing options), be leery of an agent that constantly tries to show you homes that are significantly above what you want to pay.
In the end, choosing a real estate agent is highly personal and only you will know when you find the best fit. Answering the questions above can help you make smarter decisions and get a better picture of an agent who will match your needs. So take your time and consider these points, but don’t be afraid to interview agents or ask for references before getting started.
Buying or selling a home is an emotional and stressful experience. Choosing the right real estate agent will help ease the buying/selling pains and makes your experience much more pleasant. Finding the best real estate agent to help you buy your new property or sell your current home is the key to less stress.
Never Settle For Less.