Your Real Estate Agent Matters. Hire the Right One!
As the saying goes 20% of the realtors do 80 % of the business.
When beginning the process of selling your home or purchasing a new home, one of the most important individuals on your team will be your agent. Your agent will play an integral part in either finding your new home or selling your existing home. The search for the perfect agent that will fit your needs, timetables and expectations can be daunting and exhausting. Here are some tips on finding an agent that will work for your specific situation.
1) References - Ask family and friends if they have had success with any realtors in the area. You want to create a list of 3-5 potential candidates that you are going to consider. Try to obtain as much background information as possible on these specific candidates.
2) Licensing- Make sure that the agent is licensed by the state and that working as a real estate agent is their full time job.
3) Interview Prospects- Now that you have your list and have verified that each are licensed, you now want to interview each of these prospects. As with anything you want to shop around a little and see what each agent has to offer and if they are going to be able fit your needs. Here are a couple questions that you want to address in your interviews:
What areas do you do the majority of your work?
How long have you been in the business?
Do you have any references?
If selling, what will be the commissions for the sale of my property?
How many sellers are your representing now?
At what price do you think my home will sell in the current market & why?
What is your advertising and marketing plan for my home?
How often do you plan to communicate with me?
What is your average listing time?
4) Select an agent with the right credentials
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.
SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
If the agent calls himself a Realtor with a capital "R," that means he's a member of NAR. By hiring a Realtor, "the most important thing you get is an agent who formally pledges to support the code of ethics."
5) Look at their current listings - Verify that the agent is selling in the area that you are looking or has directed clients to buy in areas you want to buy.
6) Connection- Make sure the realtor you choose is somebody you connect and communicate well with. You will be connected for the next 6-12 months so be sure this individual is somebody who you are compatible with
7) Hire your Agent- After you went through all the proceeding steps you will now sign a contract with the selected agent. Here you will let the agent know how long you want them to represent you and they will tell you the commission price they will require (negotiable)
Be sure to follow all of the steps mentioned above and take them seriously. As stated before, your agent is one of the most important people on your team and may be the deciding factor on if you meet your timetable and get the right price. Do your due dilligence and use your instincts. You will be able to tell who will best fit you after the interview process is complete.