How to choose the right real estate agent for you?
You need to be able and willing to move fast in today’s hot real estate market.
Many homes are selling quickly, and many receive multiple offers. Over half of the homes sold above their asking price. These are just a few of the many complications that come with the complex process of negotiating, filing paperwork, and shopping around for the best rate.
According to the National Association of Realtors, 89% of sellers and 88% of purchasers work with an agent. Stephen Brobeck, a Senior Fellow with the Consumer Federation of America (a non-profit consumer advocacy group), says, “I wouldn’t buy or sell a home without an agent.”
It’s easy to find a licensed agent in real estate. However, last year only 6.5 million homes were sold. This means that you might need to search a little harder for an experienced agent who has a good understanding of the local market.
Brobeck says that while most agents are competent, an experienced agent will help you to identify the details you need to make the best offer and get the best deal for your home.
The right agent can make your home-buying or selling experience much easier. These five tips will help you narrow down your search for the right real estate specialist in phelan.
Here are 5 tips to help you choose the right real estate agent for you
Knowing what you want and being prepared will help you find the right agent for you.
Buyers should apply for mortgage approval before they move forward. Brobeck states that it is essential for the buyer to be preapproved for a mortgage. Brobeck says that even the most reputable agents won’t be interested in you if your mortgage isn’t pre-approved. Once you are able to determine how much you can afford, you can speak with agents who have experience in the type of properties you want. You can use sites such as Redfin or Zillow to get an idea of the value of your home and the time it will take to sell.
It is important to understand the market segment your property falls into. You may not want to work directly with an agent who hasn’t dealt with first-time buyers if you are selling your vacation home.
Ask your family and friends for suggestions
When you are looking for an agent, it is important to interview several people. A good place to start is your existing network. Referring to an agent can be as easy as asking friends and family members who have recently sold or bought a house.
Online reviews of local agents can be found online, but these should not be taken as gospel. Brobeck states that almost all reviews are created indirectly by agents, which means there is a bias. If you are selling a house, it is worth looking at the agent’s social media presence. Karin Carr, Georgia Coast Homes’ CEO and licensed realtor says that it is possible to get a feel for someone by looking at the content they share on Facebook and Instagram. This will help you decide if that person is worth your time and valuable assets.
Look for someone active and experienced in your local area
Ask agents to tell you how long they have been in the real estate industry. Also, ask if they are part-time or full time. Carr says, “I worry about someone doing this as a side hustle.” Carr explains that it is possible for them to be unavailable when you go to view houses. You can ask for a list of recent transactions to get an idea of the type of experience they have with properties in your area.
It is important to find someone who understands the local market in the area where you are selling or buying. It can also be beneficial to have someone who is close to the area you are selling or buying. Carr states, “I would prefer someone local, but within reasonable limits, it doesn’t need to be somebody who lives inside that subdivision.” Your agent may not be available for showings if they live far away.
Meet someone who understands your needs and matches your personality
It is important to interview several real estate agents before you decide on one. This is to ensure that the personality match is perfect. Brobeck states that it is a better idea to meet the person face-to-face and not just over the phone. “You’re going be paying them a lot. “If they don’t want to take the time to interview me personally, I would look for someone else.” Trust your agent and know that you can trust them when you have problems.
A good agent can help you with the emotional aspects of buying a house. This can be very stressful. Carr says that this transaction can involve a lot of money, especially if it’s your first time. It is important to find someone who can work with you in a way that suits your needs.
Make sure you are clear about your expectations upfront and that your agent is comfortable with them. Carr said, “I know a friend who doesn’t work Sundays.” He says to a new client that he is open and honest when he meets them. I don’t work Sundays. That’s going to be a problem. Let’s discuss it.
To make sure your needs are met, find out beforehand what hours your agent works.
Ask your agent:
- When are they available to show?
- How many hours are they available to answer your questions?
- They prefer to communicate using their preferred methods.
- Do you plan to work directly with them, or will you be working mostly with an assistant or staff member?
Get to know what you are giving and how to get
You will need to sign a written commitment once you have found the right person to work with. An exclusivity agreement with a brokerage typically lasts three months. A seller’s listing agreement usually lasts six months. These contracts can be extended or shortened depending on market conditions and your specific needs. Be sure to be comfortable with the length and duration of your commitment.
The typical fee for a real estate agent is between 5% and 6%. If you are a buyer, however, you will not have to pay any fees. This fee is typically paid by the seller after the property is sold. It is split between the buyer and seller’s agents.
Brobeck suggests that you can shop around and negotiate agent fees. The total dollar value of the commission may be higher if your home is worth more than the average. The lowest fee might not be the right fit for you. Carr states, “The real question is not what you charge but what you do with the money.” A commission is the cost of marketing a property. Therefore, a lower fee may result in a less push to sell your house. You should understand the fees you are paying and what you are getting when you negotiate them.