How do I choose the right Real Estate Agent?
Whether you are selling your home or buying a new home, not enough importance is placed on choosing the right Real Estate Agent. A knowledgeable, professional and experienced agent can make a significant difference when embarking on your real estate journey. There are many intricacies in a real estate transaction that can affect your home buying or selling experience. The right Agent can provide insight into neighborhood and real estate trends, can facilitate your real estate transition, can provide financial valuations and will anticipate the blind spots that are part of most real estate transactions.
When purchasing a home, it is not only important to find a home that physical suits your needs. It is also important to find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle and monthly budget. External expenses like food shopping, dining, parking, dry cleaning, etc. can add to your monthly costs, and although you may have found a "great deal" – those items can significantly change the way you live, if not properly considered.
When buying a home, one of the first things you should request from a potential Real Estate Agent, is a comprehensive consultation. This agent should listen and understand your needs, and provide solutions that work for you and your family. Make sure your personalities fit, as finding the right property can be a long journey. Time is so valuable, so it is important that your Agent provides you with listings that truly fit your needs.
When you have selected your Agent, make sure they understand how you like to communicate. Are they comfortable texting, e-mailing, or conversing in a group chat, if that is your preference. Your Agent should be familiar with how to access new listings, listing updates and should have the dexterity to quickly manage searches on the fly so that new opportunities are brought to your attention as they are listed. In hot real estate markets, homes are sold within days.
The art of negotiation is a talent. Every buyer is looking for the best deal and every seller is looking for the highest price. Your Agent should be able to adapt to a style of negotiation that you are comfortable with and that has your best interest in mind.
A good Real Estate Agent will have an arsenal behind them. Providing buyers with options for hiring reliable real estate attorneys, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, movers, clean out services, home improvement contractors, pool companies, etc. will shorten the process.
It is also important to consider if this Agent will help guide you in making the right offer on a home you are interested in, dealing with a counter offer, and preparing paperwork once your offer has been accepted.
They should assist in providing you information about the monies you will need to go to into contract, and the time frame in which you can expect to close. Your Agent should also be available to accompany you at home and termite inspections, appraisals and during the final walk through.
When selling your home, your Agent should provide a thorough evaluation of your home, so you are comfortable with the listing price. They should also provide some insight into how much activity you can expect at the price you have listed it for; and will make suggestions on how to better the chances for a quick sale, whether that be to de-clutter your home and do some minor projects to provide a better showing of your home.
In today's real estate market, the internet has created an array of tools you can use to navigate your home sale. While you may still depend upon referrals from friends or walk into a local real estate office, the internet has allowed more freedom of information and transparency.
A number of real estate related websites will rate or rank agents based upon their sales numbers, units sold, listings, and whether those sales agents are full or part-time. Narrowing the field may require some "home"work (pardon the pun), but it is an important step in the successful marketing of your home.
It is important for a seller to understand that not all Real Estate Agents are Realtors. Being a Realtor encompasses being a member of your local, state, and national real estate boards. It also means that the agent is held to a higher standard, and adheres to a "Code of Ethics." When interviewing a realtor ask them for a short bio to get a better understanding of who they are.
Though internet based applications and web searches serve a purpose, there is no substitute for a face-to-face meeting with a qualified Agent. To ensure greater success in selling your home, make sure you identify the right Agent by; checking their experience in the field, and their references; make sure this is their full-time job; ask how many homes they have sold in the area; do they have any designations (have they invested in their education and are up to date in the industry); do they share your values and goals, and does the company they work for stand behind them; are they recognized by the community for giving back; and most importantly, are they skilled negotiators.
When selecting an Agent, ask if he or she are familiar with the strengths of your neighborhood. Buyers aren't only buying your home, they are buying a great school district, access to public transportation, parks and recreation, and your neighborhood's lifestyle. Having a certified, licensed and knowledgeable Real Estate Agent who is familiar with your surroundings and who has sold homes like yours is priceless, and an important component in successfully selling your home.
While some homeowners may want to choose a Realtor strictly by pricing, being short-changed by lack of knowledge and experience could be far more costly in the end. Keep in mind, your relationship with your Agent is not short term. You may potentially be working with this person for six to nine months!
So in conclusion, whether you are buying or selling for the first time or the fifth, search for an Agent who understands you and your real estate needs, and who will be there when you need them.
Fran & Frank Reali, Owners -BHGRE Safari Realty - Licensed NYS Real Estate Brokers
(718) 442-5200 www.safarirealtyonline.com