Whether you’re buying or selling a home, using a realtor will help make the process go much smoother.
There’s also a better chance you’ll sell your home faster or buy a home at the price you want.
However, you need to find the best realtor in your area to ensure a successful outcome. Working with someone with a bad track record could end in disaster.
There are plenty of real estate agents out there, which means you’ll need to know what qualities to look for. Keep reading for some tips on how to find a great realtor.
Ask for Referrals
Realtors get a lot of their business via word of mouth. Asking friends, family, or neighbors who they’ve used in the past is a great way to find top professionals.
When getting referrals, it’s important to ask the right questions. This is a perfect opportunity to get a first-hand account of how a realtor conducts business.
Ask about their professional demeanor and how punctual they were. This is important, as you’ll likely need to meet your relator many times for showings.
It’s important you find someone who advocates aggressively on behalf of their clients. Ask how dedicated the realtor was during negotiations.
Finally, it helps to inquire about a realtor’s personality. It’s always better to work with someone you can relate to and get along with.
Have a Look at Their Listings
If you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you sell your home, you need to know how well they market. Looking at their recent listings is a great way to gauge this.
The best real estate agents know what a home listing needs to attract buyers. They also know where to list homes.
Listings should be thorough and easy to read. They should also highlight the best features of a home and use wording that’s positive and descriptive.
The photos attached to a listing should be high-quality. Good realtors will use a professional photographer to show your home in the best light possible.
You should be able to find an agent’s listings by searching their name and agency online. If you’re having trouble, ask them for examples.
Experience is Critical
One of the strongest qualities a realtor can have is experience. You need to work with an agent who’s been providing service in your area for many years.
The housing market fluctuates from city to city. Even within a city, different neighborhoods have their own micro-markets. The agent you hire should know what’s going on with housing prices throughout your city at any given time.
Ask any realtor you’re considering how long they’ve been an agent in your city. Don’t be afraid to inquire about their success rate over the past year.
When speaking with a realtor, ask them about the current state of the housing market in your city. They should be able to offer insightful information. If they don’t seem knowledgeable or confident, keep searching for someone else.
Good Communication is a Must
There are many stages in the home buying and selling process. Things can often get hectic, especially when deadlines start becoming necessary.
This means the real estate agent you hire needs to have impeccable communication skills. They need to make themselves available to you by phone, email, and text.
When considering a realtor, send them an email with a question you have about their services. Pay attention to how long it takes them to respond.
If they work for a larger agency, ask how they handle messages. You need to know you can get the information you need, even if you have to speak to another person.
It also helps to ask how many clients the realtor is currently working with. Don’t hire someone if you feel they’re stretched too thin.
Ask for References
Once you’ve narrowed down your potential candidates, ask them to provide you with a few references from the prior year. Speaking with past clients will allow you to confirm the quality of the realtor’s work.
If an agent doesn’t want to provide you with reference, interpret that as a red flag. They may have something to hide, which is a bad sign.
When speaking to references, there are several questions you should make sure to ask. These include:
- Was your overall experience with the realtor positive?
- How easy was the communication process?
- Did they listen to your concerns?
- Did you get the price you wanted for your home?
- Do you feel the realtor advocated hard on your behalf?
- Would you recommend them to a friend or family member?
You’ll likely be able to gauge a person’s feelings about the realtor pretty quickly. If you feel good about the reference’s feedback, move forward with that realtor.
Make Sure They’re Licensed
All real estate agents must hold a license to practice in their state. Unfortunately, some people operate without one and lie about it. That’s why it’s important to check.
Aside from asking a realtor for proof of a license, you should confirm it on your own. Doing this is easy.
Go to the website for the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO). You can search their database to verify a realtor’s license.
You can also visit your state’s real estate department site to verify someone. This is also a good time to ensure they have no disciplinary action on their record.
Check Out Online Reviews
Finally, before you hire an agent, do a quick search for online reviews. This is a fast and easy way to see what other people have to say about their service.
All you need to do is type the realtor’s name into Google. You’ll probably find online reviews right away. Sites like Zillow also offer agent ratings.
If a realtor has one negative comment among many positive ones, don’t let that sway your decision. However, if you see several people complaining about the same issue, consider that a red flag.
Find the Best Realtor and Get the Results You Want
Don’t get caught up in a messy home buying or selling process. Make sure you find the best realtor to represent you.
Use the tips discussed above and locate the top agent in your area.
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