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 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. 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 one very logical 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 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.
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. You also want to know how much of their business is sourced 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.
In most cases, buyers don’t pay direct commissions, but sellers do and the actual costs can vary from agent to agent. In any case, always ask for a breakdown of your estimated costs for closing. If it fits your market, agents may throw in staging for free or shoulder your moving expenses, but be sure to compare apples to apples. If an agent charges cheap, make sure the quality of their services will not suffer.
These considerations are all useful as you look for an agent, but your instincts should still rule in the end. There are so many agents nowadays and they have varying styles and personalities; take time to find the right one for you.