Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent
There are things you can do to pull back the curtain and accurately assess a real estate agent’s past performance and potential success with your home, even though when it comes to choosing real estate agents. So whether you’re the buyer or the seller, here are seven ways you can find out more about your agent before you hire.
1. Ask these four important questions
See if the agent will provide a list of what they’ve listed and sold in the past year, then ask them the following questions. If the agent will give you the sellers’ contact information, call them and ask them these questions too, along with asking them if any issues arose, what they were, and how the agent handled them.
* what were the asking prices?
* what were they sold for?
* how long were the homes were on the market?
Check with the state, and make sure the realtor is licensed and if there have been any complaints filed against them. Sometimes, you can find this information online. It is always a good idea to check for reviews, when available. If they are a good realtor, and active in the business, it should be easy to find reviews on them.
3. Peer given awards
These really do count, because what it means is that their peers have endorsed them. This means multiple people have voted them a great realtor.
Just as doctors specialize, so do real estate agents. Here’s what some of the designations mean:
• CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
• ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.
• SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Aimed around helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
5. How long have they been in business?
If they’ve only been in business for a few short years, they’re still learning. If you don’t need your house sold too quickly, you may be happy to help them learn. However, if you’re serious about selling your home fast and for top dollar, you might want to go with someone more experienced.
6. Check out their active and past listings
Check out an agent’s listings online. Most buyers start their search on the Internet, and you want an agent who uses that tool effectively. If you see that their listings have few or poor photos, little to no descriptions, and inaccurate information, find a different realtor. They should also have enough listings to indicate a healthy business.
7. Ask about the area
A good agent should know about other area properties that are available. If the agent knows the property and can give you a few details, that means he or she really knows your area. You should chose a realtor who is knowledgeable in the market and on top of their game.