What to Consider When Choosing a Real estate Agent
Whether you intend to buy or sell property, a real estate agent can guide you through the process. But how do you choose the right 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. Surely, the latter will be able to provide a level of service that the former cannot. This is a very natural expectation.
Areas and Property Types
Neighborhood markets can have unique quirks, so you have to choose an agent who has expertise in your target area, whether you’ll be buying or selling property. There are also property types that need a particular specialty, like historic homes requiring agents to be knowledge about probable 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 gap that spans mere hours can mean the difference between an excellent deal and an opportunity thrown down the drain. Hence, pick an agent who returns your calls, texts or emails in a timely manner.
Interviewing potential agents is always a good idea, and so is talking to buyers and sellers they’ve worked with in the past.
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 they generally work with referrals or repeat business, that means their clients were satisfied.
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, make sure to request a breakdown of estimated closing costs. 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.