Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent
If you’re in need of a real estate agent’s services, you’ll certainly want the best no less. But with almost countless options out there, how do you know who’s best for you?
Whether you intend to buy or sell a property, below are tips that will come useful:
1. Ask for client references.
Ask your potential agent for a list of their listed and sold properties within the last 12 months, with contact information. If you’re a seller, ask them if the properties they’ve sold are similar to yours in terms of key features like price and location. You want someone who actually specializes in what you’re selling.
2. Ask for a license.
Real estate agents are required to secure a license from state boards. Keep to an agent who has one. You can contact your state board for verification.
3. Pick an agent who has the right credentials.
Doctors and lawyers have specialties, and so do real estate agents. Some common designations are Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). An agent who refers to himself as a Realtor with a capital “R” is someone who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). If you hire a Realtor, you can be assured of an agent who has formally pledged to follow the NAR’s code of ethics.
4. Choose a seasoned agent.
Research how long your potential agent has been in this line of business. You can simply ask the agent directly or verify with your state licensing board. You’d like to focus on prospects who have been in the business for no less than five years. You don’t want them to be learning on you.
5. Scan current listings.
Take a look at an agent’s listings online. Check out their website or search realtor sites’ online databases of properties that are currently listed in the MLS. In this day and age, most buyers begin their search on the Internet, and you’d like an agent who knows how to use this tool for maximum benefit. You have to be able to tap that huge market out there, or you could end up with a lot of missed opportunities.
6. Ask about other houses for sale close by.
A good agent is someone who knows about several properties within the area where you’re looking. Mention a house that has been recently sold or is still for sale. If the agent can give you a few details, that shows that he does know the area pretty well.
Before you decide which agent to choose, make sure you have considered two or three prospects and made comparisons. Without any point of reference, you can’t accurately say that a certain agent is the best one for you.