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?
Aside from how long they’ve been part of the real estate industry, you should ask how much specific experience they have with clients having needs that are similar to yours. Also keep in mind the difference between a part-time agent and a full-time agent. Surely, the latter will be able to provide a level of service that the former cannot. It’s the most natural thing to expect.
Areas and Types of Properties
Since neighborhood markets can be very unique, it’s important to pick an agent who is an expert in the area where you plan to buy or sell property. Some properties may also need a specific specialty, like historic homes that require an agent who is knowledgeable about unique challenges and likely restrictions. If this will be your first home purchase, pick an agent who usually works newbie buyers like you and can patiently guide you from start to end.
A communication lapse of just a few hours can spell the difference between a good deal and a missed opportunity. Therefore, go with an agent who is prompt in returning your calls, texts or emails.
It’s wise to interview your prospective agents, and so is speaking to buyers and sellers who have worked with them before.
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 an agent works for a company that thrives mainly on repeat business or referrals, this can mean that their clients are satisfied wit their work.
Buyers don’t pay commissions directly in most cases, but sellers do and how much you have to pay will be different from agent to agent. In any case, always ask for a breakdown of your estimated costs for closing. If they think it’s suitable for your market, an agent can hold a free staging or pay for your moving costs, but you need to compare apples to apples. 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 so many agents nowadays and they have varying styles and personalities; take time to find the right one for you.