Buying or selling a home can be exciting, but it can also come with its own mix of fear, anxiety and consternation as it means you are entering a new life chapter.
Selecting the right real estate agent for you is one of the first key steps to consider when making a move.
While friends, family and co-workers are a great source of referral for real estate agents, their home buying or selling needs may be different from yours. Using the internet is a good way to research various real estate agents, but consider it a starting point for your search for that right real estate agent who truly represents your interests.
Consider the following intangibles:
- Is the real estate agent’s personality compatible with yours?
- Do you sense that they are honest and trustworthy?
- Does the real estate agent have a clear understanding of your objectives and needs?
- Do they have a list of past clients that you can call to obtain their opinion?
- Are you the real estate agent’s focus or are they?
Then do your due diligence and make sure that the following key elements are in fact in place!
Licensing – While a real estate agent must pass certain tests to be licensed by the State, don’t forget to confirm that their license is valid and in good standing. Have they had any complaints filed against them?
National Association of Realtors® – Not all real estate agents can call themselves Realtors® unless they actually are a member in good standing of this association and agree to be bound by their “code of ethics” which provides another layer of protection for you as a consumer.
Education and specialization – Continuing education is crucial for a real state agent and taking added courses in areas that they wish to “specialize” in is a plus to you the consumer. Such specialized areas of real estate might include, short sales/foreclosures, senior housing, investors, etc.
Local knowledge – A good real estate agent will have local information available for you at their fingertips, including housing trends, number of houses on the market vs. the percent sold, sales price trends, local crime rate stats, school and shopping information and a list of professionals they do business with that will help make your real estate transaction as seamless as possible.
Experience – While a certain amount of experience is important, it should be only one of the points you consider. There are certainly experienced real estate agents out there who have become lazy and complacent after years of selling real estate and newer real estate agents who are highly motivated and on top of things with their eagerness to earn your business.
While the above list is not all-inclusive, please feel free to reach out to me if you are thinking of buying or selling and I’d be happy to provide you with 3 to 4 real estate agents that I think may be a good match for you to begin interviewing to find that right real estate agent who you can relate to and who will understand and assist you with your real estate needs.