Choosing a real estate agent is a lot more complicated than most people think. There are good agents who are professional, responsive and truly care about helping you achieve your goals. There are also bad agents who are unprofessional, unresponsive and only care about earning a quick buck. It’s hard to tell the difference without doing your homework.
First, ask if they are a Realtor® who is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. Members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics which is important because your financial future is in their hands. Only about half of all licensed real estate agents in the United States are Realtors®.
Second, ask if real estate is their full-time profession. Would you want a dentist who was a real estate agent part-time? How about an attorney who also manages a pizza parlor on the side? Would you trust a brain surgeon who moonlighted as a bartender? Real estate is so complex these days that you need to be fully-involved not only in working with clients but also attending classes and training to stay current with constantly-changing rules, regulations and laws.
Spend some time to get to know your prospective agent to see if you personally like them. It’s not enough that an agent is capable because buying or selling a home is a long term and very intimate relationship. They must get to know you, your family, finances and financial goals. Liking and trusting your agent is essential.
Find out how well the agent knows the local market. When buying a home a knowledgeable real estate professional can save you time in finding the perfect home for you. They know the local market . If they have strong negotiating skills they should be able to save you money as well. They will also make sure you get all of the inspections needed to protect your investment.
When selling a house a knowledgeable agent can help you get the highest price by developing a targeted marketing plan. They can also help reduce your liability when it comes to making all of the necessary disclosures.
Some people think that agents don’t do much to earn their commission. Ask for a sample of the paperwork involved in just buying a home. The same is true for selling.
Buying or selling a home is a complicated transaction filled with potential problems and challenges. It’s your agent’s job to help you deal with them. Work with a real estate professional to make your life easier and less risky. They can also save you time and money.
If you have questions about buying or selling a home please contact me: Michael “Soon” Lee, CRS, GRI, at (925) 864-8848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.