Month: July 2019

How To Choose The Right Realtor For The Job

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.

Strong Communication

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.

Solid Experience

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.

Positive Reviews

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.

Personal Rapport

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.

Questions To Ask Your Realtor

Finding the right real estate agent is harder than you might think; after all, there are over 2 million realtors in the US. It’s essential to work with the right agent to ensure a smooth process, whether it’s your first real estate transaction or you consider yourself a veteran.

Asking family and friends for a referral is still one of the best ways to find a good real estate agent. There are some simple yet important questions you should ask a realtor before working with them. Arrange a meeting with an agent once you feel you have found someone you can work with.

How many years have you been selling real estate?

Most realtors don’t last long in the industry without having a track record of sales, as real estate is a commission-driven industry. A realtor is much better equipped to handle problems and unexpected delays when working with you if they have overcome similar problems in the past and have been in business for at least a few years. However, remember that experience doesn’t always mean success.

On average, how many clients do you have?

You don’t want to feel ignored or neglected while your realtor is handling the needs of their other clients, and this is a polite way to make sure they will have time to devote to you. If you potentially need extra support and your realtor has a lot of other clients, find out how they plan to address that situation. Perhaps a licensed assistant can help you as and when you need it, or perhaps the realtor has other team members who can be called upon if necessary.

What is your ratio of buyers to sellers?

Many real estate agencies have agents who are solely dedicated to either buying or selling, and clearly, if you are buying a home, you may be at a disadvantage if your realtor works mostly with sellers. And in general, the process can be a lot smoother if just one agent can potentially handle the entire process. In other words, if you are buying a home and selling your current home if the same realtor can take care of everything for you, it’s a lot easier and quicker.

Which areas do you cover?

Ideally, when choosing a real estate agent, you want to compromise between someone who will make a sale just about anywhere in the country and someone who specializes in a relatively small local area. Most realtors still can’t retain the knowledge of a really large area, even though the Internet has meant agents can become somewhat familiar with a larger area. Working with a realtor who works in and around your chosen geographical area is probably your best bet. You don’t want to confine your search to an area that’s just too small simply because that area is the one your realtor specializes in.

Do you work as part of a team?

Members of a team often have more knowledge and experience, and the chances of one person being familiar with a particular situation are higher. However, right from the outset, it’s important to verify exactly what the relationship between you and the other people on the team will be. You may be working with different people during the entire process, or you may be assigned one real estate agent to work with, and it’s important to understand exactly what to expect. You don’t want to meet with a different agent each time you look at a house for sale if you were under the impression you would be working with the same realtor all the time.

Is the realtor able to address your specific needs?

Try to avoid working with an agent that has little or no experience in your area or isn’t at all familiar with your situation. You want to work with someone who gets your situation and your needs, whether you are buying homes to flip, are a cautious first-time buyer or a seasoned real estate investor. Ask your agent how they would tackle a specific or unique situation that you may find yourself in, and make sure they have the experience and know-how to tackle it for you.

How will you communicate with me?

Establishing how often you expect to be updated on any progress is important, and you want to work with a realtor who is generally communicative and keeps you in the loop. As you are the client, it’s important that you feel comfortable with whatever arrangements are made for effective communication.

Do you have a list of recommended vendors?

A good realtor will have accumulated a list of industry contacts that they can recommend and refer you to, and ideally, they will have more than one source, allowing you to determine your best fit. You have the right to choose who you work with throughout the entire buying or selling process, per the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Keep in mind that these are only recommendations, although when you need a title company, lender, inspector, or contractor, you can assume that any name you are given is established and trustworthy.

Can you provide three references and their contact information?

If a realtor has clients who didn’t like their service, you probably won’t be given their name and contact information, so keep that in mind. However, talking to previous satisfied clients should allow you to accurately assess whether you want to work with a particular real estate agent or not.

Any questions for me?

This is the opportunity for a realtor to get to know you and get an accurate feel for what you want, and the questions they ask you can give you a real feel for whether they put their clients first.