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 do you choose the right one?
Experience in the Industry
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. Take note of the difference between part-time and full-time agents as well. Surely, the latter will be able to provide a level of service that the former cannot. This is a very natural expectation.
Areas and Types of Properties
As neighborhood markets vary significantly, it’s a must to choose an agent who is an expert in the location where you want to buy or sell property. Some property types also need a certain specialty, such as historic homes requiring an agent who knows about potential 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. Thus, pick an agent who is quick to return your emails, texts or calls as quickly as possible.
It’s wise to interview your prospective agents, and so is speaking to buyers and sellers who have worked with them before.
This removes the self-promotion that all business people have to do, and will give you an accurate idea of what’s it’s like to work with the agent. You also want to know how much of their business is sourced from referrals or repeat business. If an agent works for a company that thrives mainly on repeat business or referrals, this can mean that their clients are satisfied wit their work.
In most cases, buyers don’t pay direct commissions, but sellers do and the actual costs can vary 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 can help you understand an agent’s process and personality, but in the end, it’s good to depend on your instincts when choosing the right one for you. There are a lot of agents these days having different styles and personalities, but you have to find the one who’s just perfect for you.