Finding the right person to represent you in your real estate transaction is important. Being comfortable with your agent, and your agent’s level of competence can take a good deal of stress out of the process, turning what might be a chore with the wrong representation into a fun and satisfying experience.
If you’ve been thinking of buying or selling a home, here are some tips that might help you choose the right person.
- Give some thought to what you want. While this sounds self-explanatory, you’d be surprised how many people just hire their neighbor’s brother and start shopping. If you spend a little time in advance thinking about your own preferences, you can save a lot of head and heartache later. How do you prefer to communicate? Are you the type who wants immediate access to your agent, or are you comfortable with a more relaxed communicative pace? Do you want someone energetic and hungry, or would you prefer someone with institutional knowledge and connections? Do you want to hand-select properties to view, or would you rather share your preferences and depend on your agent to take things from there? Of course, this step also includes reflecting on what you don’t want. Be upfront when interviewing agents – even if they don’t feel they are a good fit for your style personally, the experienced ones will know who you should speak with instead. Decide if you want a hard-charging negotiator or a stress-free agent who can pull a deal back together from the brink of the abyss.
- Make sure they are tech-savvy. The sweet lady your family did business with back home didn’t need to use a computer. All the contracts were signed in person, and she used a street map to find showings. It’s a little different now, and you need to be sure your agent is comfortable in the modern real estate environment. Someone who doesn’t use targeted social media marketing or understand how to submit contracts for electronic signatures is going to be problematic to work with. They won’t be aware of homes coming to market in advance, and you will find yourself operating at a deficit from the start.
- Check online references. Zillow and Yelp are great tools for prospective buyers and sellers. Agents won’t be able to edit those responses, so you can get a feel for what their clients really think.
- When possible, meet in person before agreeing to a relationship. Sometimes this isn’t possible if you’re moving from elsewhere, but if you can, a sit down before you get started is a great way to make sure you feel good about your decision. Do you click well enough as people to move forward in a client/agent relationship? If they don’t seem right, you’ll know it.
While this is a little more time-consuming than letting your uncle’s ex-wife list your home for sale, you should be able to move forward with confidence after just a little due diligence. Always ask an agent to explain their opinions further – the good ones have a deep understanding of the forces at work in their local market. Remember that the agent with the highest listing price for your home is rarely the one who will get it sold fastest or for the most money. Remember that we’re all here to serve your interests in the transaction. If it feels like that’s not what the prospective agent is about, look elsewhere.
We’d love to discuss your search for an agent in further detail. Why don’t you give us a call and we’ll see if we click? If we don’t, we have an embarrassment of riches where good agents to recommend are concerned.
Looking in other areas? Ask us for a professional referral. Realtor-to-Realtor referrals are a big thing in our business. If you want to buy or sell property, literally anywhere in the world, we have the wherewithal to research and connect you to a professional (or several of them) in your area of need. It’s worth our time and effort to do the research. It is commonplace for receiving agents to share a portion of their ultimate commission back to referring agents. Think of it as a kickback, a birddog, or mailbox money.
We can refer you locally too. Would you like to know who the top agent is in a particular neighborhood? How about someone with deep knowledge of short term rental properties? Or maybe you’d like to like to connect with someone with similar hobbies, temperment, lifestyle, or demographic. We can help with that too. Just reach out!
Happy house hunting!