Buying or selling a home is a huge financial decision. Therefore, it pays to make sure that you’ll get it right from the start.
One way to do that is to hire a real estate agent who makes this process seamless. Ideally, you’d find someone who comes recommended by people you trust. Before listening to recommendations, though, you should make sure they’re a good fit for your needs.
Not sure where to start your search? Here are five qualities to keep in mind when selecting a real estate agent.
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1. Local Experience
When buying and selling homes in a specific area, you’ll want an agent who knows the area well. That way, you’ll know they have the experience necessary to advise you on your needs.
For instance, can they tell you what your morning commute would look like? How much do they know about the popular parks nearby or restaurants opening up soon? These are key questions, and your agent should provide satisfying answers.
2. Good Credentials
Speaking of real estate experience, many agents have carved out a niche for themselves. For best results, pick an agent who’s had special training that’s relevant to your needs.
For example, some agents specialize in servicing clients who are 50 years and older. Others go through extra training to represent home buyers in real estate transactions. Others only do work in specific sectors, such as the luxury market.
3. Market Knowledge
Your best options for agents should have a strong pulse on the latest real estate trends. One way to gauge that is to ask them how many sales they’ve closed in the last year.
You can also ask your prospective agents about their sale-to-list ratio. This ratio compares the listing price of a home to its actual selling price. Great agents help their clients get the best deal, which will result in a lower sale-to-list ratio.
4. Solid References
Asking your agent for references should tell you a lot about their experience. Studies show that about 3/4s of home buyers would recommend their agent to others.
When you get in touch with the agent’s references, ask them the right questions. For instance, did the agent listen to them and understand the type of home they wanted? Did the agent rush them into a decision or did they let them process all the options?
Of course, you can look into online customer reviews as well. Here are the best sites to find local real estate agent reviews.
As the old saying goes, the best ability is availability. This is why you should always ask your prospective agent how many other clients they’re working with at the moment.
The key thing to keep in mind here is that they must find the time for you. If you’re selling a home, will they return your calls within the hour? If you’re buying, can they show you open houses on the weekends?
More on Selecting a Real Estate Agent
In truth, selecting a real estate agent is all about doing your research. As long as you’re willing to spend some time on it, you’ll find someone who ticks all the right boxes. The five factors above can help make your search more accurate.
Want to learn how to start comparing agent fees to find the best match for your needs? Keep reading our real estate content!