It’s a tough job. Yes, I agree whether you are planning to invest in a property or selling your house, finding a real estate agent is a tough job. You might be thinking how am I so sure about it, right? Because I have experienced it, I have been in your place, trust me, the difficulties crossing your way will be endless if you go wrong in hiring a real estate agent.
The process of hiring a real estate agent is quite lengthy as you will be needing someone reliable and listen carefully to your priorities and won’t waste time on properties that don’t fit the bill and so, the entire process will be worth your time.
There is no lack of real estate agents but with so many professionals to choose from, choosing the right one can make you feel frustrated. But as buying or selling a property is a huge financial decision to make, let me help you with the entire process of finding a trusted real estate agent.
Why choose a real estate agent?
Convenience is one of the best perks of hiring a real estate agent. As an estate agent is there to serve as a connection between the seller and the buyer, they will have immediate access to the properties listed by other agents which means you will not have to end up wasting months collecting the databases regarding the property details that are up for sale. For those buying, an agent will track properties that match your requirements and arrange appointments to see your houses, saving your leg work and loads of your time as well
Making negotiations an easy process
Although skipping the middleman out may be a plus point in certain cases, but it’s not the same, real estate may be an environment where it may be a smart idea to have a negotiator who works between parties. Yes, discussions will essentially take place between the seller and the purchaser. During negotiation, however, disagreement also arises when both sides seek, appropriately, what is best for themselves. Getting an agent makes deals simpler as they can play the bad guy avoiding confrontations or another disagreement between buyer and seller that might potentially ruin the deal
Provides you with the best financing options
Once you are done finalizing on a property, real estate agents are the best ones to provide you with the best financing options that you need to consider.
One of the most crucial reasons for hiring a real estate agent is that by using a real estate agent you can get help with a large amount of paperwork and guidance on what to be aware of. A real estate agent can help you track the paperwork, and most importantly, ensure that everything is signed and complete.
It’s not wrong to say that real estate agents can sell your house 10 times sooner than you can. Depending on your budget, expect calls from your agent often for buying/selling of property that matches your requirements discussed.
Expert advice which provides you with peace of mind
If you invest or sell the family home you have lived out of, having the professional advice of someone who knows the processes involved can spare you a lot of headaches and frustration for those looking to benefit from the real estate market. It’s not just about first-time buyers getting reasonable counsel, even the most successful of us in the estate market will profit from ensuring that everything runs smoothly and we get the best price possible. Although it can cost you a bit to hire a real estate agent, what they will give in exchange is well worth it.
How to choose a real estate agent?
Look out for the local housing market in person
Walk around or go for a drive-in neighborhood looking for agent names on real estate signs as the majority of the communities have a minimum of one real estate company based within each of the localities. So, keep your eyes wide open.
Get a referral
Ask your friends or family members for real estate details, it would be great if you can find a real estate agent from a referral as they must have been trusted enough by your family member or relative that made them share the details with you without any hesitation.
Besides acquiring personal referrals, comparing the details of the real estate agents that you have acquired through other means online will help you identify their reputation in the market. Take a look at their website and social media platforms for checking out the reviews shared.
Coordination and Cooperation
Discuss how the agent will be keeping you informed and how often would you be expecting to hear from him/her. Choose the mode of communication as well, as it might be troublesome later if you prefer email but your agent is responsive over the calls most. Make sure to hire an agent with whom you connect well and who is ready to answer any questions about the home buying/selling process that you may have.
Attend Open Houses
If you are new to the city and don’t know anybody well enough to get a recommendation yet, it’s a perfect option to attend open houses. Not only can you meet the agent of the seller at an open house, but the agents of the buyer often frequently attend to their clients to discuss potential homes.
Take part when you notice an open house, especially in your preferred neighborhood. To get a sense of their character and professionalism, take time to talk with the listing agent. Be available at the open house to meet other people and keep an eye out for agents who might be involved in taking in a new customer.
Clarify your motivation
Ensure that you have shared all of your requirements with your potential agent. For your agent to understand your expectations, share the details regarding your timeline and if you are looking for any particular timing to avoid the taxes and much more.
Discuss the strategy
To accomplish your mission of either buying or selling the property, it is very much essential for you and your agent to be on the same page. If you plan to sell your property then discuss upon- whether there will be open houses? How many showings do you prefer doing? How will the property be marketed for a better reach?
It is better to settle for a real estate agent who has a proven track record of successfully selling or acquiring land in no time to prevent chaos. It’s important to ask a potential agent how long they’ve been purchasing and selling houses, but don’t forget to check into their background a little deeper. Ask for their average price list and how long it usually takes for their customers to close a deal.
Strong local market knowledge
Since you are planning to sell/buy property, you must have done the basic research from your end as well and must have realized that the real estate market differs from one area to another. And so, there comes the need for a real estate agent who has good knowledge about the local markets to help you guide through.
As you will be spending much of your time with the agent, it’s best to go with your intuitions before you hire an agent. You need to be confident that you will enjoy his/her company and the person is someone who will genuinely understand your requirements. If you are getting bad vibes, then do not settle for that person,
I repeat, just do not settle for such a person.
Agree on all the important details
Verbal agreement does not hold weight, it’s best to have everything written about the commission structure, price list as well as the length of the contract. Also, discuss with your agent what action/solutions need to be taken if you gain no results after a certain amount of time.
What to watch out for when hiring a real estate agent
Overly High Pricing
It’s obvious that you will be tempted to pick the agent who will be offering the best price if you are planning to sell your house. But wait, a hasty decision will do no good to you. You need to get in contact with at least 3 of the real estate agents asking them the purchase price and then comparing the same. Since all agents rely on the same data, they should have similar suggestions. The property might take longer to sell if the price is set too high.
Agent is difficult to get a hold of
Real estate is one such business that goes on 24/7 and not just for weekends or holidays. Therefore, the agent you opt for should be solid in terms of communication and is extremely flexible to work with.
Agent is a friend or relative
Buying and selling of properties involves a lot of pressure and details which can eventually taint your relationships. Therefore, you should hire a professional and let the person take care of the entire process.
Not familiar with neighborhood
If your agent is less or not at all familiar with the localities, that itself is the biggest hint stating the agent is not the right one for you to rely upon. Ensure that the agent you choose is an expert familiar with the neighborhood details.
Your role will be to just hire an agent and leave the rest to the person in either buying or selling of property as he/she will be solely responsible for closing the detail with his efficient communication and negotiation skills. Poor negotiation will negatively impact your deal about the speed of transactions and details.
Charges low commission
Let me warn you, do not fall for low commissions in the real estate business as those who intend to charge you lower than 5%-7% of commissions are suspicious. At first, it might look like an advantage to you but it can even be inviting trouble for self.
I’m not conveying those who work as part-time agents aren’t reliable but not all of them are, you may come across as lethargic or not so hard-working agents as they might have been exhausted already. For quick and promising results, it is best to opt for a full-time agent having up-to-date information about the market.
Abundance of Attitude
No matter how basic or how many questions you ask your agent regarding the buying or selling of a property, a true professional is obligated to answer all of your queries instead of throwing a ton of jargon at you. Expecting professional behavior is essential.
You are getting nowhere
It’s been months but heard no news from your agent regarding the closure of the deal? Or if your agent isn’t showing you any homes whatsoever or, even worse, keeps showing you homes that you’ve already said aren’t right for you, they’re wasting your time? Fire him right away!
Is always in a hurry
It’s your decision on which one to buy and where to buy. Your agent has no right to pressurize you. An agent who pressures you to buy a home you aren’t sure about or one that’s out of your budget is more interested in their commission than helping you find the best home for you and your family.
Too many clients
Too many clients are a sign that your agent is popular enough as he/she has been entrusted by many people just like you. But it is also a thing to consider as buying and selling off properties require too much time and patience and therefore, before hiring an agent, check on whether or not he/she has the required time management skills.
Why should you hire a licensed agent only?
Unlicensed agents may tempt you with lower charges and by making false promises, but you cannot protect yourself from being cheated once all the agreements have been signed between you two. And, to ensure that you are in safe hands, always look for a licensed Real Estate Agent only as they will always follow the legal path and would prevent you from falling into any fraudulent activities.
Licensed Real Estate Agent Must-
- Provide clients with a written appraisal of pricing showing how they have calculated their estimated price
- Recommend the clients and purchasers to seek legal advice before closing on a deal to avoid any trouble in future
- Explain how different methods of sales can provide the seller with different levels of remuneration
- Obtain a written confirmation from the seller that the property is not defective and also ensure that the buyer is also aware of the risk involved, if any
- Explain when an Agency Agreement comes to an end, to prevent clients from being required to pay two commissions if they engage the services of another agency without canceling their agreement with their previous agent
Note: When you’re deciding on a real estate agent it is also worth checking out the Public Register on the Real Estate Authority (REA) website. This displays records of any complaints lodged against salespeople. Make sure you check your shortlist against the Public Register to be confident you’ve made the right choice.
Questions to ask the real estate agent
Last but not the least, once you are done with the background check of your potential agent, it’s time to formally interview them before you hire. Listed below are the must to ask questions-
- How many other buyers are you currently working with?
- How do you locate new properties?
- Can you provide references from buyers you’ve worked within the past?
- What type of guarantee do you offer if I am unsatisfied with your representation?
- What percentage do you charge?
- Will I be working with you exclusively or will I be working primarily with an assistant?
- Do you work part-time or full-time as a real estate agent?
- What are your hours of availability and preferred methods of contact?
- Is your license in good standing and have you ever had a complaint filed against you?
- How many years have you been a real estate agent?
- Do you ever represent the buyer and the seller?
A good agent brings a lot to the table that you’re not going to find anywhere else, and you will be successful in bringing the right deal to the right house. The hunt for the right agent will take some time, but it will almost always add value later. Give yourself plenty of time to pick a real estate agent who will benefit from your buying process and who you really enjoy working with. The rest of them will collapse into line.
And if you have kept someone you feel is the right agent, consider again before you sign an agreement.
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