Choosing the right property agent is a crucial aspect of buying a house. A good real estate agent would make the buying process easier and quicker; the not-that-good agent would turn the entire process into one big ordeal. The attributes you must look for in an agent include someone easy to communicate with, who has goals identical to yours – not only about buying a property but making that happen in a way wherein your requirements as a buyer are prioritized, and you get the ideal home possible for a good price.
There is no standard method to find the right agent, though certain things you do could help you get closer to one. Below, we’ll go through things buyers must consider when they are looking for a property agent to assist them with their house hunting, and how to go about finding one.
Almost all capable real estate agents possess a repertoire of skills that you should be looking for when agent-hunting. These skills are not uniform across the board or agents. They would vary based on your requirements. However, the real estate agent you choose should have the following five important qualities at least.
Good communication between an agent and buyer primarily determines a good property deal. Make sure you associate with an agent who is easy to interact with, and who has no qualms answering all your questions, irrespective of how many they are and how downright silly they are.
Before you hire an agent, find out how many years they have been in the business of buying and selling houses, and the number of years isn’t the only thing to consider when ascertaining the quality of experience. Know about the agent’s average list price and sale price ratio, and the total time it generally takes to find a property and close the deal. You surely want to associate with an agent who is known for helping buyers find their desired properties quickly and at a great price.
Strong Knowledge of the Local Market
Property markets across regions aren’t the same. If you are looking for a house in the country, suburb, or city, make sure the agent you hire is fully aware of local market patterns and trends and can help you guide through the intricacies of a particular locality. A solid method to gauge the agent’s local market awareness is simply asking. Inquire about the fundamentals, such as how long a newly listed home stays on the market and their average prices. Also, ask about different trends about the market that you must be knowing about.
The positive reviews that a realtor has garnered online and elsewhere is a solid indicator of their reliability and trustworthiness. Go through all the reviews you could find before choosing the agent you’ll associate with. If you come across negative remarks from past clients, make sure you differentiate between complaints pertaining to the realtor and grievances caused due to the stress attached to the property buying process.
Ultimately, you want an agent who is on the same page as you. You would be most likely spending significant time together. It’s therefore important you associate with a realtor who is good to be with, and who truly understands what your requirements are. It’s all about the vibes and intuition. If you even marginally feel that it will be hard to work with the person, you will be better served if you look for another realtor.
If you are now ready to look for a realtor, keep reading these tips from Justin Hennessey PREC.
Finding the right agent shouldn’t take much time if you are clear about how and where to look.
Begin by asking friends, co-workers, families, and anyone you believe is knowledgeable and/or trustworthy with their local agent referrals. Past buyers are some of your best sources to find the right agent, as they would be able to offer you information based on their own experiences. Moreover, if someone you know has had a stint with an agent before and is recommending that individual, you can trust that person since they would have enjoyed associating with that realtor and will not mind working with them again.
If there is no one around you who can provide you a solid referral, go online. Use realtor search help sites to look for agents in your region. Narrow down the list and do some more research on the agents that you have shortlisted. Go through their portfolio and their reviews for information that could help you make a decision. If you have any unique requirements, ensure the potential agent has the necessary experience and/or expertise to cater to that need. A unique need could be, for instance, a short-term rental arrangement during the buying stage or you looking for a military relocation.
And similar to renting a storage space or hiring a moving firm, you need to keep looking. Shortlist at least three potential realtors and interview the three briefly. Be extremely picky if you have to – for property investment is by no means small.
The right time to search would depend on two things, which includes your comfort and familiarity with the house purchasing process, your unique requirements, and your other responsibilities and commitments. Regardless of your circumstances and needs, start searching as early as possible.
Even if you are not going to buy a house in the next six or twelve months, there is nothing wrong in searching for and shortlisting agents right away. Most realtors would respond to your queries and doubts even if they realize you are not looking for a property immediately because you could mean business for them in the future.
Is it possible to buy a house without a realtor?
Buying a house by yourself is possible, but it’s not recommended. Good agents offer information and insight that no amount of secondary research would unearth. With an agent around, you are extremely likely to get your hands on the right property. Your chances go down considerably when you take things upon you completely.
Kindly note there is no dearth of realtors. You should, therefore, take your time to choose one – after having thoroughly considered the individual’s specialties, strengths, skills, and experience.