What to Consider When Choosing a Real estate Agent
Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling property, a real estate agent will be able to provide valuable help. But how do you choose 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. Also keep in mind the difference between a part-time agent and a full-time agent. Certainly, the latter will be able to provide a level of service that may not be possible with the former. This is one very logical 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. There are also property types that need a particular specialty, like historic homes requiring agents to be knowledge about probable restrictions. If you’re buying a home for the first time, go with an agent who typically works with newbie buyers and can help you through the process as patiently as possible.
A communication gap that spans mere hours can mean the difference between an excellent deal and an opportunity thrown down the drain. Therefore, go with an agent who is prompt in returning your calls, texts or emails.
Interviewing potential agents is always a good idea, and so is talking to buyers and sellers they’ve worked with in the past.
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 the agent usually works on referrals or repeat business, that’s a sign that they’re doing something great.
Usually, buyers don’t pay commissions directly, but sellers do, and their actual costs can vary sidely from one agent to another. 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 cheap, make sure the quality of their services will not suffer.
The above considerations can be helpful in your search for an agent, but in the end, you have to listen to your gut. 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.