Home. For a four-letter word, it packs a lot of meaning. Our homes are imbued with the memories of our time within their walls; they hold impressions of the bright joys and frustrations we felt when we lived there. For many, a long-term house isn’t just a place to sleep, but a place to set down real roots. Entering the real estate market is an emotionally charged decision, and it makes sense for buyers and sellers to find the most capable real estate agent to guide them through the process.
But oddly, many clients don’t search for the agent right for their case. While the hunt for the ideal real estate agent may seem like just another frustrating hoop to jump through on the way to finding or selling a home, finding the right representative is absolutely vital to getting the best deal possible.
Think of your home sale as a delicate, fragile crystal cupped between your hands. Would you trust someone who was clearly unsure, inexperienced, or – worst of all – uncaring, to handle it properly?
Of course not – for all you know, they might drop it to shatter on the ground, leaving you without a home or sale profit!
Finding an agent with the knowledge and experience for your particular case is a necessary part of buying or selling a home – and while that process requires a bit of work, the returns are well-worth the effort.
Interview multiple agents.
You may think that you found your realtor after hanging up on your first call – and maybe you have! But you might find an even better agent after dialing a few more numbers. After all, surveying your options can’t hurt.
Find an agent specializing in cases similar to yours.
If you’re looking for a bungalow in the suburbs, you probably don’t want to go to an agent who specializes in high-rise apartments! A realtor’s work is tied to a particular geographical area – and while good agents will be able to tell you a lot about the neighborhoods and listing types that they specialize in, they will likely be at a loss to help you find a home outside of their area of expertise. Find an agent familiar with your geographical area and price range!
Additionally, you may want to look at potential agent’s qualifications. What certifications do your top choices have? If you’re looking to buy, rather than sell, a home, you might want to find an agent certified as an ABR. Accredited Buyer’s Representatives have completed extra courses in working with buyers, and will be best equipped to help those looking for a home. Realtors specialize in different fields, so finding an agent that works specifically on cases like yours will help further your case.
Look into an agent’s previous work.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask agents about their other listings – are they geographically and cost-similar to yours? Look into their online listings to gauge whether the agent is overloaded with work and won’t be able to devote the time you need for your case. You can even reach out to previous clients and ask about their sale experience!
Consider experience and work ethic.
Generally, you should go with someone who has over five years of experience. However, this isn’t always a hard-and-fast rule; in some cases it may be better to go with a qualified younger agent. For instance, an honest, younger agent with the time, focus, and drive to get their clients the best deal possible might be better representation than an overworked and snappish agent who wants to finish a sale expediently.
Go with someone you trust.
In the end, you have to go with your gut. If the first few meetings with a potential realtor don’t go well, they likely won’t improve. Work with someone you trust with your home, and you’ll undoubtedly find yourself more satisfied and secure at closing.