5 things to look for in a real estate agent
What attributes should you look for in a real estate agent?
#1 – Do they have in-depth knowledge of the local area?
When you are selling a home, you want to make sure you are getting a fair price for the area. Likewise, you want to ensure you aren’t overpaying when buying a home. A well-informed realtor will know the current market’s pulse and can provide insights for both sellers and buyers.
#2 – Do they have a good reputation in the community?
Just because they have a billboard and sponsor the local t-ball team doesn’t mean they’re well respected and recommended by past clients. Do your research – find reviews on third-party sites and ask friends and family for recommendations. If you’re moving to an area where you don’t have a personal connection, ask for a lengthy list of references so you can do some research.
#3 – Do they have reasonable and transparent fees?
Realtors set their commission fees (usually in the 5-6% range) paid by the seller in a transaction. If the agent you consider has higher fees than this, discuss what you’re getting in return and negotiate. Remember, the lower the fees, the more you retain on the sale of your home.
#4 – Do they offer a contract with favorable terms?
Most important for selling, consider the length of the contract you’re signing, especially in light of the current market. You don’t want to lock into a longer contract if homes in the area aren’t moving quickly.
#5 – Do they have your best interest at heart?
Your realtor must be focused on your goals and needs, not their own. For buyers, this means they should recommend listings that are in your budget and fit your needs, not just for their financial gain. For sellers, this means they should be working on getting YOU the best price, and then you both benefit.
Often, the chemistry you feel with an agent will be the key. Whether they communicate effectively, listen actively, and genuinely work towards getting to know you, your family, and goals. It’s a relationship the matters, and the research you do on the front end will be well worth the effort.