If buying or selling a home is on your list for 2020, then you’ll want to start searching for a professional real estate agent to help you during the process. Working with an expert in your market will help make the process smoother, easier, and less stressful – and who doesn’t want that? You will be able to lean on us for suggestions and advice, and a good agent will be your partner through the entire process. The question is – how do you choose agents that are the best fit for you? Read on to find out.
Get recommendations for Real Estate Agents
It’s not hard to find a real estate agent in your neighborhood. You’ve no doubt seen ads on benches and billboards for agents who are active in your area. But how do you know if any of these agents will be a match for you? In short – ask family and friends. Find out if you know anyone that has worked with agents you’ve heard of, and ask for recommendations for those whose names you may not already know. Nothing beats getting a firsthand account of what it’s like to work with someone, and the best people to ask are those whom you already know and trust.
Nearly every professional real estate agent these days has a strong online presence. If they don’t, then that should be a red flag. So much of the real estate process takes place online that it should give you pause if an agent doesn’t have a website or social media accounts. If they’re not tapped into the Internet, then they’re missing a huge part of the market. Check each agent’s sites and accounts. You should also find out if the agent is properly licensed, and whether or not any disciplinary actions have been taken against them. Read online reviews to discover how other buyers and sellers feel about their work, and let that inform your decision.
Difference Between a Real Estate Licensee and REALTOR®
Just because someone is a real estate agent, it doesn’t make them a REALTOR – there is a difference. REALTORS are members of the National Association of Realtors, the largest trade organization in the country. We abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, elevating our profession. The official ethics code is revised yearly to reflect the latest issues in real estate law and practice, and its core message is to “treat all parties honestly” [source: National Association of Realtors]. Although the primary responsibility of a buying or selling agent to our clients, Realtors promise never to mislead or withhold information from anyone involved in the real estate transaction — including the other real estate agent and his or her clients.
Schedule an interview
You don’t have to work with the first agent you talk to. In fact, it’s always a good idea to interview several real estate agents before deciding on the one that will work best for you. Schedule appointments for a consultation with each agent you’re interested in. Ask them pertinent questions about how they work and request references. Trustworthy agents will have no problem providing you with contact information from satisfied clients they’ve recently worked with. You should also make sure that they handle real estate transactions that are similar to yours, such as dealing with foreclosures or selling luxury estates. In today’s market, knowledge is power. Working with an agent who has expert knowledge in your specific market is key.
In the end, you may discover that more than one agent will fit the bill. That’s a great problem to have! This means you really can’t make a bad decision when choosing the right agent for you. If you’ve weighed the pros and cons of each and determined that each candidate is about equal, then go with your gut. Whose personality is the best match? Remember – you’ll be spending a lot of time with each other over the coming weeks, so work with someone with whom you will enjoy spending time and even more importantly, that you trust! If you’d like to find out more about working with Angela and Rick, just fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you ASAP!
Angela & Rick