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 should you pick one?
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. Take note of the difference between part-time and full-time agents as well. Definitely, you can receive from the latter a level of service that the former cannot match. This is a very natural expectation.
Areas and Property Types
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. Some property types also need a certain specialty, such as historic homes requiring an agent who knows about potential restrictions. If this is your first time to buy a home, you may want an agent who works with first-time buyers most of the time and is patient enough for some hand-holding.
A communication gap of only a few hours can mean the difference between a great deal and a wasted opportunity. 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 gets rid of the self-promotion business people are obliged to do, and offers a clear idea of how your relationship with the agent will likely play out. You also want to know how much of their business is sourced from referrals or repeat business. If they generally work with referrals or repeat business, that means their clients were satisfied.
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, always ask for a breakdown of your estimated costs for closing. 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.
These considerations can help you understand an agent’s process and personality, but in the end, it’s good to depend on your instincts when choosing the right one for you. 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.