Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Whether you’re planning on selling or buying property, having a real estate by your side is wise. But how should you pick one?
You don’t only want to know how long the agent has been in the business, but how many buyers they work with whose needs are similar to yours. Also take note of the difference between a part-time agent and one who’s in the job full-time. Certainly, the latter will be able to provide a level of service that may not be possible with the former. It’s the most natural thing to expect.
Areas and Types of Properties
Neighborhood markets can have unique quirks, so you have to choose an agent who has expertise in your target area, whether you’ll be buying or selling property. Some properties may also need a specific specialty, like historic homes that require an agent who is knowledgeable about unique challenges and likely restrictions. If this is your first time to buy a home, you may want an agent who works with first-time buyers most of the time and is patient enough for some hand-holding.
A communication gap that spans mere hours can mean the difference between an excellent deal and an opportunity thrown down the drain. Hence, pick an agent who returns your calls, texts or emails in a timely manner.
It’s always good to interview prospective agents, and so is talking to sellers and buyers they’ve worked with before.
This gets rid of the self-promotion business people are obliged to do, and offers a clear idea of how your relationship with the agent will likely play out. At the same time, you also want to know what percentage of their business comes from referrals or repeat business. If they generally work with referrals or repeat business, that means their clients were satisfied.
Buyers don’t pay commissions directly in most cases, but sellers do and how much you have to pay will be different from agent to agent. In any case, make sure to request a breakdown of estimated closing costs. It appropriate in your market, agents can throw in free staging or take care of your moving costs. If an agent charges less, make sure the services will not be compromised in exchange for the lower commission.
These considerations are all useful as you look for an agent, but your instincts should still rule in the end. There are many agents today with different personalities and professional styles, but you have to find the one whom you feel is just right for you.