August 01, 2016 at 6:24pm | Denise Bodman

Perhaps you’re buying your first piece of real estate. Perhaps you’re in a new area and your previous connections aren’t available. Or perhaps you just feel that it’s time for a change. No matter your situation, it is in your best interest to have a real estate agent helping you through the purchasing process.Real estate agents act as the intermediary between the purchaser and seller of real estate. They bridge the gap between those who want a new place, and those who want to sell theirs. In fact, they’ve been bridging this gap so well that according to the 2016 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study “across every generation at 88 percent or above, sellers overwhelmingly used a real estate agent or broker to sell their home” (Adam Desanctis).
Hiring a real estate agent is an increasingly simple process. However, many people are faced with a daunting question: how can I choose the best agent? This article has five tips for you to find the perfect match!

#1: Find Reputable Real Estate Agencies in Your Area
This can be as simple as a quick google search: finding realtor’s associations can either lead you directly to an agent, or be invaluable in finding one further down the road. Reading through online reviews can help you see which agencies are the most helpful in terms of customer service, attention to detail, and general niceness. It can also help you decide which individual you would like to specifically work with.

#2: Talk with Friends and Family
Ask around! Chances are, people that you know personally have worked with a real estate agent in the very recent past. Find out whether or not you would be a good fit with some of these people, and contact them after being advised by the people who you’re already close with.
Considering that nearly 90 percent of people sell real estate through an agent, it’s very likely that you know someone who’s gone through this entire process—asking them who they chose, and why, can give you a huge leg up on the procedures listed here.

#3: Talk with Your Potential Agents
This step is incredibly important! It is imperative that you have a good, personal, and amicable connection with your agent. Focusing on the character of the person alongside their past achievements is critical. While you talk with them, make sure to have a prepared list of questions that you go through, and a specific agenda. Knowing what you need to do in order to get your house sold will help both you and your agent immensely.

#4: Ask Questions
Asking your potential agent questions regarding their past business is the best way to find out whether or not the two parties would match well. Finding someone with experience, credentials, specialized training, and work in your specific area of real estate is very important. Read through these questions and decide which ones are important for you:
  • How much of your work is dealing with commercial sales?

  • Do you have a product specialty or specific market area that you deal with the most?

  • How long have you been working as a real estate agent?

  • How many deals have you negotiated in the past few years? (Asking for documentation, and calling those who are listed, is a great way to double-check this information)

  • How long do you think it will take to sell/lease my property?

  • How many properties that are similar to mine have sold in this area in the past few years?

  • How did you get your real estate license?

  • What marketing websites do you/your company advertise through?

This is just a list of sample questions, which you should tailor to your needs. However, it covers the basics of what should be important to every seller.

#5: Fact-Check the Agent’s Answers
Look up the information that the agent gave you in their interview. If any of it is blatantly incorrect, then you know to avoid that person. Otherwise, find out if you like their style of advertising. Look up the person’s current listings (either through the agency’s site or through an aggregate site like Realtor.com or MLS.com), and decide how you feel about their approach. Continue vetting until you find one or two candidates, and make a final decision.

Finding the right real estate agent is often the most important step in the selling process. They have professional experience, the know-how and the drive to sell your property, and, if you’ve followed these steps, a personal connection to you. Going through a real estate agent is almost always the best decision.

Need help purchasing or selling a condo, home, or multifamily complex? Give us a call at 512-360-9061.
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