The Right Real Estate Agent For Your Needs
When shopping for your dream house, it is important to have a good real estate agent on your side. With their years of experience and access to insider information, real estate agents can help find properties that fit your criteria and assist you with getting the best possible outcome during negotiation.
Though it might be tempting to just go with a random agent recommended to you by your friend or family member, you really do need to take the time to shop around for the best possible agent. Follow this questionnaire to make sure you end up working with a great real estate agent.
What Credentials Does the Agent Have?
Talk to the agent about their training and credentials to learn a little about what knowledge they have. Anyone who is a licensed real estate agent will have a fair amount of training and knowledge, but it can be helpful to get someone with additional knowledge.
Look for agents who are an accredited buyer’s representative, which means they know how to represent a buyer in transactions, or a certified residential specialist which means they have training for residential real estate.
Does the Agent Focus on Buying or Selling Properties?
Of course, a good real estate agent can work with both buyers and sellers, but most people have one side of the business they specialize in. Getting an agent who spends a lot of time with buyers means you will have someone who knows all about finding properties that fit your criteria and negotiating all the details of a closing. However, if you plan on selling your current home, picking an agent with a little selling experience is always useful.
Can You Talk With Recent Clients?
See if the agent is willing to give you contact information for recent clients. This lets you get a decent idea of what it is like to work with the agent. Be sure to ask former customers about the asking price and final sales price to see how well the agent negotiates.
Ask about what they were most, and least, satisfied with, and whether or not they would recommend the Realtor. Of course, there is always the possibility of encountering a client who may have something to complain about.
Although, not every dissatisfaction is the fault of a Realtor, so pay attention to anything you hear or read, but also use your judgment to ensure you’re operating with the best set of facts. There are at least two sides to every story.
Does the Agent Communicate Well?
Pay attention to how fast the agent gets back to you, and see if they are willing to communicate by phone, email, or any other preferred method. Think about whether they answer your calls quickly or always just have a secretary leave you a message. You want to find someone who is easy to get in touch with and convenient to communicate with.
What Sorts of Properties Does the Agent Usually Work With?
Ask the agent about the types of properties they normally end up selling. Most agents have an area they specialize in, so it is helpful to get someone who focuses on the type of property you want to buy.
For example, if you want a historic home, you will need an agent who actually knows the lingo and can discuss different historic styles. Check out the agent’s current and recent listings to see if they are similar to the type of property you want to end up with.
How Well Does the Agent Know the Area?
You also need an agent who has plenty of knowledge and experience with the area you are working in. A good agent can provide valuable tips about where you might want to look for houses, and they should know enough about the neighborhood to steer you away from undesirable places. Even the best real estate agent may not be useful if you want to look in a region they are entirely unfamiliar with.
Does the Agent Have Any Helpful Real Estate Connections?
Agents who have been in the business for a while often build up a pool of trusted professionals that they can recommend. They may work with certain banks that offer good financing deals, or they might know of a few home inspectors that always do a good job. Though not always necessary, having an agent with these sorts of connections can help your home buying process to go a little more smoothly.
How Many Clients Does the Agent Work With at a Time?
When working with a real estate agent, you always want to feel like you are a priority. Talk with the agent about how many clients they tend to work with at a time. Ask who will handle your needs if the agent is busy.
It is fine to pick an agent with a bustling business, but you do not want someone who makes you feel rushed or ignores your needs.
At the Heather Murphy Group, we’re sure you’ll find our team to be expertly knowledgeable, our credentials to be superior, and our customer service to be the best!