Choosing a quality real estate agent can be overwhelming. Buying or selling your home is one of the most stressful and time consuming transactions a person can deal with. In order to make that the best possible experience you should be very diligent about your choice in a real estate agent.
Here are some tips to help you choose who to work with:
Choosing the right agent
- Research can save money, time and help ease the transition. Making a decision of what your priorities are and then find a real estate professional with that specialty.
- Word of mouth is the best advertising. Referrals from friends or family members are probably the best way to find a real estate agent you can trust.
- After you have decided the area you would like to live in, start taking notice of the realtor yard signs. Watch for patterns and multiple listings with the same agent, this is an indicator that the agent is a specialist in the area. If you are selling, do the same for the signs in your own neighborhood.
When interviewing a candidate
- If selling, ask the real estate agent how he or she would establish a listing price. Request a Comparative Market Analysis, also called a CMA, which shows the market value of similar homes in the area that are for sale or have recently sold.
- Your agent will need to be skilled at marketing your property, ask the agent how the property will be marketed. It may not be feasible to do a customized marketing plan until the agent tours the property, but if he or she cannot suggest a strategy when asked, you might consider interviewing other agents.
- Communicate with the agent what your expectations are about contact; how often should you expect to hear from him or her.
- Ask for credentials and specifics about the agent’s license, purchases and sales the agents has assisted in, education and designations. Look for things that indicate a strong sense of motivation and professionalism.
- Pay attention to whether that agent really listens to you. Your agent needs to be a representative for you and needs to listen carefully to your needs and desires. You do not want to waste your time with houses that are not in your target area because your agent did not heed your wishes.
- Be specific about the agent’s fee schedule. Ask him or her if they work for a flat fee or for a percentage of the price.
If at the end of the interview process you are not comfortable with the prospective agent’s plan or personality, it is ok to thank him or her and to start the process with a new agent. This can be a long and difficult process, but well worth it in the end.
You have found the agent that you feel is going to work well with you and has your best interests at heart, now you need to contribute to your end of the bargain.