“You know what I think would be fun to do today? I think that today we’re going to buy a house! We’ll go to all the viewings, talk to the bank about loans, make offers, and if we’re feeling really crazy, we’ll ask someone to come down for a home inspection!” Yeah. Said no one ever.
If you’re getting a root canal or getting your appendix out, you don’t try to do it yourself. And buying a house, if done without an expert’s guiding hand, can be just about as pleasant as those lovely medical procedures. So how do you make it less awful? The best thing to do is to bring in someone who knows what they’re doing. Lucky for you, we’ve got the tips you need to pick the perfect Realtor for you.
Talk With Past Clients
It’s all well and good to read the online reviews of a product before buying it, but the only foolproof way to get information is to talk to people who already own a product. The same goes for realtors. Talking to past clients gives you a clear picture of how a realtor approaches the challenges of purchasing a house, how well they meet the needs of their clients, and how they approach the process of making an offer.
Do your research. Reach out to past clients. Ask about the difference between the asking and the selling price, the similarities between the property you are selling vs. the properties the realtor has sold, and any other concerns you might want addressed. Getting a review from someone who had the full experience with your realtor will give you a clearer picture of who you are dealing with and what kind of work they do.
Like any other occupation that requires a license, it includes a licensing board. States have the right to discipline real estate agents for bad conduct or breaking the rules. Check the state board to find out if the realtor you are looking at is licensed and if they have ever had complaints or disciplinary actions taken against them. All of this should be available online.
Pick a Real Estate Agent with the Right Credentials
Real estate agents specialize in different areas, just like doctors and surgeons. So if you’re looking for a professional in a specific area, or you have a specific aspect to your property that you’re looking for. A realtor can get specialized training in different areas, such as the following
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Additional training in residential real estate.
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Additional education in being a buyer representative throughout the transaction
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Additional training designed to help buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
Whatever your realtor’s specialty, the most important thing is that your realtor formally agrees to support the code of ethics that realtors are required to follow. This keeps your realtor honest and binds them to certain rules that are geared towards the clients’ best interests.
Check Their Experience
Research how long the realtor has been in business. If they’re new to the business, they’re learning on you, which isn’t the best situation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad idea to hire them. Look at their current listings to see what experience they have with properties, if they’re working in your price range, your area, or have dealt with similar needs to yours.
You can also ask about other current listings in the area. If the realtor can speak about them specifically and has details about a house that just sold or went on sale, they really know their stuff.
Picking a real estate agent can be a tricky business, but doing your research and knowing your needs will help you pick the best realtor for you who can get what you need done to your standard.
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