How to Pick a Real Estate Agent
Whether you’re planning on selling or buying property, having a real estate by your side is wise. But how do you choose one?
Aside from knowing how long they’ve been in the business, you’d like to know how experienced they are with buyers who have similar needs as you. Also take note of the difference between a part-time agent and one who’s in the job full-time. Surely, the latter will be able to provide a level of service that the former cannot. This is a very natural expectation.
Locations and Property Types
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 property types also need a certain specialty, such as historic homes requiring an agent who knows about potential restrictions. If you’re buying a home for the first time, go with an agent who typically works with newbie buyers and can help you through the process as patiently as possible.
A communication lapse of just a few hours can spell the difference between a good deal and a missed opportunity. Thus, pick an agent who is quick to return your emails, texts or calls as quickly as possible.
It’s wise to interview your prospective agents, and so is speaking to buyers and sellers who have worked with them before.
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. At the same time, you also want to know what percentage of their business comes from referrals or repeat business. If the agent usually works on referrals or repeat business, that’s a sign that they’re doing something great.
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.
The above considerations can be helpful in your search for an agent, but in the end, you have to listen to your gut. There are a lot of agents these days having different styles and personalities, but you have to find the one who’s just perfect for you.