Regardless if you are selling or buying a home, the first step should be choosing the right real estate agent who can assist you in accomplishing your goals. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask tough questions, after all it’s your happiness on the line. When you’re ready to choose a real estate agent, keep these five things in mind.
1). Check their licensing and credentials.
Selecting a real estate agent with current licensure and credentials is a must and should be the first think you check. If an agent refers to himself as a “Realtor” he is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has formally pledged to abide by their code of ethics. Agents can specialize in certain areas of real estate and participate in additional classes for specific certifications. Understanding the meanings can help refine your search. According to Bankrate.com, here are a few designations:
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
2). Review their current listings.
Look at your agent’s current listings in order to gauge the types of properties, neighborhoods and price ranges they work with, and how they compare to the property you’d like to purchase or sell. Reviewing the amount of listings can also tell you whether or not their business is successful or if they will be too busy to give you the proper attention. You can view listings through the agent or agency’s site (take a look at fazhomes.com) or through Realtor.com.
3). Talk with previous clients.
Like every other product or company, real estate agents will only highlight the positives about their business. Ask your agent to provide a list of the properties they’ve sold in the last year, along with contact information. The only way you’ll truly learn about a particular real estate agent’s working style and success rate is to ask previous clients, directly. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions:
- How long was the home on the market?
- What was the asking price versus closing price?
- Were you satisfied or dissatisfied?
4). Research how long the agent has been in the industry.
While extra credentials may show dedication to the field and look impressive on a business card, relevant experience is priceless. You can ask your agent, openly, or search the state licensing authority to learn exactly how long your agent has been selling real estate and other red flags to be wary of. The goal should be to partner with an experienced agent; one who knows when to play hardball and when to graciously decline.
5). Ask about other homes for sale in the area.
A good real estate agent will know all of the details for the homes they show you, but an excellent agent will know about other available properties in the area and how they compare to the homes you are viewing. If you are a seller and know of recently sold homes in your neighborhood, ask your agent if they are familiar with the property and what details about the transaction they can provide. You want to partner with an agent that truly understands and knows your area well.
It’s important to do your research not only on homes you’d like to purchase or sell, but also on selecting your real estate agent. You want to select a licensed and certified agent, but one that knows the area you are looking to buy or sell in. Do you homework and find the right agent who will not only partner with you but also make your experience a success.
Interested in how one of our Roger Fazendin REALTORS® can be the perfect partner for you? Visit our Contact Us page and start your journey to success!