When it's time to buy or sell a home, choosing the best local Realtor is the first step in the process. The agent you choose can make all the difference in the quality of your experience. Searching for the best local real estate professional is no different than trying to find a reliable doctor or dentist. Okay, granted it's not brain surgery or a root canal, but your home is the roof over your head, your safe haven, and often your nest egg.
Some buyers are tempted to leave their names and needs with other Realtors. The advantage seems obvious…the more people you have looking, the better chance you’ll have of finding the home of your dreams.
This, however, is not usually the case. In fact, since you are not committed to one specific Realtor, you may find that your realtors are not as committed to spending the extra effort on your behalf. My advice is to shop for a buyer representative who will get the results you want and then stick with that person exclusively. In the end, you will have a dedicated agent who will personally handle all the details of your upcoming home purchase. If you give your loyalty to one Realtor, you will be rewarded with great results.
Many people find their Realtor through a family member or friend. Although this is often a reliable approach, it doesn't guarantee a perfect match. For most people buying or selling a home is the single largest financial transaction they ever make. It is also an intensive and personal process and you will probably be spending considerable time with the real estate agent you select. Finding a real estate agent you connect with can be critical to the success of the process. You and your Realtor will be a team so make sure this is a person you feel comfortable filling the position of your adviser and advocate.
Check on the real estate agent’s experience, education, productivity, and references. Accomplished agents know the market and the best strategies to sell your home. They should now the trends and be on top of all the latest market statistics. During the buying or selling process, you may require the services of a specialist. They should be there to guide you and offer recommendations when necessary. It is also a great idea to check the number of transactions handled monthly or yearly. This is a good indication of commitment to the real estate profession. References and testimonials from past clients can be another good way to help you make your choice.
When listing your home for sale, be wary of agents who suggest they can get an unreasonably high sale price for your home. A high listing price may be used to entice you, only to drop the price after little traffic is generated. Meanwhile, you've lost what can be the most critical time period in selling a home – the first weeks after it is listed. Make sure the suggested listing price is supported by comparable sales data.
If you’re a buyer, you may want to consider a buyer agency with the Realtor you select. Ask if the agent you are considering makes this option available to you. Make sure they are up on the current listings. Test them on their knowledge of the community, neighborhoods, and schools. It is also important that the agent is willing to spend time talking to you about your wants and needs in a home so you do not waste time viewing properties that you will never consider as a future home.
Finally, whether you are home buying or selling, determine if the Realtor is honest and straight-forward about real estate market conditions. An agent who is more interested in telling you what you want to hear is not the best choice when you are entering into a transaction involving something as expensive as your home. This is one of those life situations when even if the truth hurts you need to know.
When you need professional services, you want someone with experience, a proven track record, and someone you can relate to and trust. A good Realtor can make your real estate transaction seamless, stress-free and sweet, The last thing you want is to compare buying or selling your home to "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"! Finding the right home is not an easy task. Before you start looking, find a loyal and committed real estate professional to take be with you through the buying process.