For most people, a real estate transaction is one of the biggest financial transactions they will make in their entire life. If you are selling or buying a home, for example, the deal is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. With that kind of money at stake, it should go without saying that you want to have good people on your side. That means you should be working with a qualified and experienced real estate agent who will work hard to make sure you are getting a good deal.
Is it possible to act as your own real estate agent when completing a purchase or sale? Sure, it’s possible – but it is usually a bad idea. Most people lack the necessary knowledge of the real estate market, as well as real estate contracts and language, to make sure they are getting a good deal. The cost of hiring an agent is certainly worth it when you consider how much money they can help you save on a purchase (or make on a sale). To pick out a good agent for your next transaction, consider the following tips.
The first thing you want to do is find an agent who is in tune with the current market conditions where you are planning to buy or sell a property. Bringing in an agent from a couple of counties away is usually a bad idea, as they might not have the local knowledge necessary to get you the best deal. Real estate is always changing, so you will be well-served to work with someone who is dealing in your market on a daily basis. Before committing to work with a specific agent, ask them about their familiarity with the market where you will be looking to buy or sell.
Experience is Crucial
Having experience is important in any profession, but it is especially key when it comes to real estate. One of the big advantages of working with an experienced agent is having access to all of the connections they have made over the years. An experienced agent likely has relationships with many other agents in the area, meaning they will be able to cast a wide net in order to track down the right property for you to buy, or the right buyer for a property you have for sale. In addition to connections, an experienced agent also brings knowledge of the negotiating process that could save you thousands in the long run.
Talk to Previous Clients
Your homework won’t be complete until you take the time to talk to at least a couple of the agent’s previous clients. Ask for a list of references and then contact two or three of them to find out more about their experience and level of satisfaction. Real estate is a reputation business, so a good agent will have left a trail of satisfied clients behind them throughout their career.
Are They Tech Savvy?
If you are trying to sell your home, you want to make sure the agent will be able to take full advantage of the online real estate world in order to create a buzz around your property. Take a quick look at the current online listings that the agent has for sale to make sure they are full of quality pictures, detailed information, and more. Since the vast majority of real estate buyers start the process online, you need to make sure your property is going to look great on the web.
Most markets have hundreds or even thousands of active real estate agents, so you should have no trouble tracking down qualified candidates to help you buy or sell your property. This is an important decision, so take your time until you are able to settle on an experienced professional who is ready to work hard in order to get you the best possible deal.
by Ben Wayne