Realtors are a dime a dozen, and it can be hard to know what to look for or who to choose. Most people pick the first agent they speak with, or go with a friend or family member- but it’s really a great idea to chat with a few agents before choosing someone. Among rapport & personality fit, here are a few other things you should be looking out for when considering an agent:
1) Is your agent talking about their achievements or are they talking about your home and the market? This is about you and your investment- not the agent- your agent should come off as incredibly knowledgeable about the local market conditions, buying strategies for market conditions, and selling strategies…. Which leads me to the next tip…
2) Is your agent being honest with you? Do they know EVERYTHING? Probably not-although not much should stump them. A good agent will let you know when they’re not sure about something- and then they will find these answers for you.
3) Is your agent schmoozing you?
Sellers-Any agent can tell you that SURE, they can list your property for that price you want. Can they support it with comps and explain to you the appraisal process? Watch for agents that will tell you what you WANT to hear to get your business- and find the agents that will tell you what you NEED to hear to pull off your transactions smoothly and can back up what they’re saying.
Buyers- Is your agent setting proper expectations? Are they explaining to you that you might not have much bargaining room in a seller’s market? Buying & selling can be highly emotionally charged events; your agent should be a clear voice of reason in the process.
4) Sellers- How is your agent marketing your property? Are they spending marketing dollars on the things that will sell it? The stats are out there and we know where buyers are finding their homes. Are they advising you on proper listing prep? Are they having the home professionally photographed? They should be. How else are they marketing your property? Are you getting detailed and pertinent information on your offers from your agent?
5) Buyers- has your agent got your back? Are they watching for inspection and legal pitfalls? Are they looking for deferred maintenance? It is easy to go into a property with rose colored glasses. Your agent should be looking for the things you might be missing. Is your agent communicating with your lender? This is a crucial piece of the buying puzzle with many factors involved such as taxes, down payment, earnest money & closing costs. Your agent should be aware of these factors and using this knowledge while helping you house hunt.
6) Communication, communication, communication! Is your agent communicating with you? Are they communicating with the other agent involved in the transaction? All agents should be following up to make sure all offers, counters and addenda are received. These are time sensitive documents and can make or break your transaction.
7) Legal eagle- real estate isn’t just driving around and looking at homes with clients. Most of it is actually legal. Is your agent going over contracts with you and explaining details? They should be!
I hope this blog post has given you a good starting point on your search for the best Realtor for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, I’d love to talk to you about what you need & how to get there. And remember: be sure to chat with a few different agents!