Are you ready to buy your first house? Yes, we understand the excitement, but there are many things you have to consider. Sure, it is a great feeling to look for a place to call home for many years to come, but it is more important to find the right person to help you on this journey. This piece covers what you should focus on when selecting a real estate agent.
It may seem to be an easy task. The truth is the complete opposite. Buying a house is one of the most significant decisions you will ever have to make. Not only will it dictate a good part of your future, but it will also have a great effect on your finances.
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The very first thing you should inquire about when you meet with a potential real estate agent is their previous experience. The work they have done in the past sheds some light on how they’ll be when they work with you.
Naturally, when selecting a real estate agent, you want someone who’s been in business for at least 10 years. Newcomers are far more likely to make mistakes, which could cost you a great deal. Experienced real estate agents have survived the test of time.
Still, make sure to dig a little deeper. Ask them:
- How many homes have they sold in the past year?
- What accreditations do they have?
- How long does it typically take to find a property for their clients?
- What percentage of their clients are buyers or sellers?
- Is this their full-time job?
Ask as many questions as you feel comfortable with. The more you know about your agent the better.
2. Market Knowledge
Here’s what you want to learn not just about the person but about their ability. Expert agents will always outperform average agents, and there are tons of those.
Every market is different. Each behaves differently. Learn about what trends are active in your real estate market… right now!
When selecting a real estate agent, it is crucial to collaborate with someone who has extensive knowledge of the market. They won’t charge you anymore for superior results. It’s worth your time to learn from the best.
One of the most important qualities of your agent is responsiveness. What good is your experienced, expert agent if they don’t call you back?
The best estate agents have great communication skills. They are eager to answer all of your questions. No, it doesn’t matter how trivial these may be. It is their job to introduce you to every step of the process thoroughly and clear any doubt you may have.
If you prefer texting, ask the agent about it. They should want to communicate with you in your preferred method. After all, they will be your companion on this journey, so you have to feel comfortable working with them.
4. Glowing References
Now, here is probably another thing you might be confused about. How to narrow down the list of potential agents to interview? Naturally, you have to get recommendations and referrals, and there are several ways you can do this.
First of all, if you have a close friend or a family member who has recently purchased a property, you can start by asking about the agent they worked with. They will not only provide you with a name and contact info, but you will also learn about their experience. How long the entire process lasted? Were they happy with the options they got? Did they feel comfortable and enjoyed working with the said agent? These are all important questions, and the answers will help you determine whether you should contact that person or continue looking for someone else.
On the other hand, if you are moving to another city or even state, the Internet search will be your new best friend. You can start by looking for local agencies and going over their resumes. Then, make sure to explore their websites, especially the customer review section. In addition, you can also ask them to provide you with the contact information of some of their previous customers to speak with them directly, just to be on the safe side.
5. Appropriate Fees
First, understand that buyers don’t pay real estate commissions. Home sellers actually pay both their listing agent’s commission and the commission to the agent who brings the buyer. Some are confused about this but trust me, this is how it works. So if you’re a home buyer, you don’t need to worry about this step. But home sellers definitely should.
By law, all fees are negotiable. If an agent tells you otherwise, do not work with that person.
This means that every brokerage, or even agent, could have very different fees. When interviewing different agents, make sure to ask them about their fees and if there’s a possibility for a lower amount. It can not hurt to ask.
If you find someone with significantly low fees, it doesn’t need to be a red flag, but you should still make sure to investigate it. As an example, the real estate agency at Premier Real Estate in Raleigh North Carolina offers 3 tiers of packages to sellers with commissions that range from 4.5% to 6% depending on the level service that needs to be performed in order to sell the home, so hiring a real estate agent is definitely not an instance when you should try to save some money.
Your Real Estate Agent
There you go! We hope this article has shed some light on the process of selecting a real estate agent. It might be a little overwhelming but you can do it. Start early. Take notes and give yourself some grace. It can be a challenging process but you’ll get through it.