Purchasing a home requires some serious legwork! Having the best real estate agent by your side is essential. You need someone you can trust to assist you in finding the most important facet of your life, your home (second only to your family, of course). Think about the memories and holidays that will be shared inside the four exterior walls of your future home! This is one of the most important decisions of your life! So, why trust it to just anyone?
Here are some tips for finding your very own Rockstar Realtor®:
Pick someone you like: Chances are, you’re going to spend a lot of time together and communicating often. You want someone with whom you’re comfortable. You need someone who understands you and that you can understand. You want someone you can trust. Ask your family and friends if they can refer someone in real estate to you. Chances are, somebody knows someone who is in the real estate industry. If a loved one is a mutual connection, you’re more likely to have common ground with the agent and more likely to develop a successful relationship. Something else to keep in mind: keep it local! A local real estate agent will be more likely to have information on any upcoming changes that may impact your sale. (Think road widenings, sewage lines, rezoning.) They’re also more likely to go that extra mile in the hopes of gaining your return business, or at the very least, a great referral.
Check their background: First, perform a background check with the state licensing board. This ensures your potential real estate agent doesn’t have any active investigations or previous criminal acts. Check the agent’s current listings on MLS, their agency’s website, and/or Realtor.com. The most desirable length of experience is said to be around five years. This isn’t to say any less or more is undesirable. In fact, somebody new to the industry is more apt to give you more one-on-one time since they’re not likely to be overburdened with a large customer base. Someone with more than five years will have the knowledge and experience to ease you through the process more gently. Take their experience, their knowledge, and their manner into consideration. Read their reviews online. Also, keep in mind, there are many titles a real estate agent may utilize. A CRS, or Certified Residential Specialist, is someone who has completed additional training in handling residential real estate. An ABR, or Accredited Buyer’s Representative, has completed additional education in representing buyers in real estate transactions. An SRES is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, trained at helping buyers and sellers in the over-50 age range. An agent going by Realtor (notice the capital R) is a member of the National Association of Realtors. These Realtors must adhere to a strict code of ethics, ensuring their clients are treated honestly and fairly. Pick your best fit.
Ask Questions: The more questions you ask, the better you’ll get to know with whom you are dealing with. The following are some good questions to ask any real estate agent you are considering:
- How long have you been involved in real estate? How long have you been involved in the industry for our local area?
- What is your average number of clients at any given time?
- Do you work as an individual or part of a real estate team?
- What kind of communication can I expect and how often?
- Do you have any customer-based references which I can contact?
- What kind of commission do you expect?
Any research you do now could save you thousands of dollars and tons of heartache later. This is truly a very intimate relationship in which you are entering. Consider the trust you will place upon your realtor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Research everything. Interview multiple agents. Finally, go with your gut. If something feels wrong, walk away. You’re the only one that will be living with the results of this union. Make sure it’s a great one! In the meantime, rest assured, we’ll have your mortgage needs covered!
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