Whether someone is selling his or her current home or scouring the market for a new one, finding a good agent is the key.
A great agent makes the process of selling or owning a home a smoother process. An agent is not just someone who knows the ins and outs of the housing market. They serve as guides faster and easier home buying or home selling transactions. They also work hard to be sure you’re happy.
But with so many agents in a local market, how does one find someone who can be trusted to do a great job of helping sell or acquire a new home?
Here are four tips to help in the search.
1. Identify specific buying and selling requirements.
Determine if what’s needed is a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. There’s a difference between the two. Depending on whether the aim is selling a home or buying one, one agent is better for a specific purpose than the other.
Ask for a buyer’s agent if the aim is to buy a home. Conversely, ask for a seller’s agent if the aim is to sell. This ensures that the agent will work according to what’s best for the hirer’s interests.
Note also that there are differences between real estate agent, real estate realtor, and real estate broker. It’s important to know the differences in jargon while transacting in the market.
A real estate agent possesses a real estate license from the state where he or she works. Meanwhile, a Realtor is associated with the National Association of Realtors® and therefore has the business rights to use the REALTOR name and logo. Last but not least is the real estate broker, who possesses the most training in the field, especially with regards to real estate law and ethics. A broker also possesses the license to arrange buying and selling transactions of properties.
2. Ask from referrals from friends and acquaintances.
This is the time to utilize that extensive network of friends and acquaintances, be they from the offline or online world of social networking.
Since trust is an important part of the buying and selling experience, getting a well-trusted and reputable agent serves one’s best interests. This is especially useful if planning to live in a new city or town.
Get in touch with friends and acquaintances and ask them about their experiences with agents. Since they are friends, they will give an honest rundown of their experiences.
3. Do some legwork – Personally watch agents in action.
The adage that goes “Seeing is believing” holds true in this case. Seeing and watching agents while they are on the job gives a firm idea on what the market entails and what kind of steps the purchasing process has.
It is best to take a drive along areas where open houses are being held. Mingle for a little while, observe, and interact with agents, as well as buyers or sellers alike. Get a feel of the market and what a potential agent’s work style is.
4. Go ahead and ask potential agent some questions.
This is the time when it pays to be proactive in asking the questions one has always wanted to ask an agent.
Once your choices have been narrowed down to two or three potential agents, arrange informal interviews with them. Get to know them better and determine which one among them is the best.
Determining the best fit carefully ensures that the agent is compatible with the hirer’s needs and interests. Making sure that the hirer is comfortable with the agent’s work practice and style is also important.
Some possible areas of concern are the length of time they’ve been working in the market, the number of home sales they transact successfully in a year, whether they’re representing the hirer or the seller, and whether they’re willing to provide references.
If ready to buy or sell a home, these simple tips will help you find a real estate agent that is the right fit for you and your needs.
Originally posted 2015-03-23 15:00:00.