Using the right Realtor can make a significant difference in the the amount you pay or receive when buying or selling a home, as well as in the efficiency of the entire transaction. But you need to do a little research to achieve good results.
Here are tips to help you find a Realtor who will be truly helpful to you:
Pick a pro.
Realtor, broker and agent are three words that are typically used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be. First and foremost, some agents or brokers are not Realtors. Realtors are real estate experts who are members of the National Association of Realtors, which follows very high ethical standards that are sometimes out of the coverage of state law.
Whether you want to buy or sell a house, don’t be a mere dot in a Realtor’s learning curve. One of the initial questions you must ask a potential Realtor is how much experience they have in the area and how long they’ve been licensed as a Realtor.
Ask for recommendations.
Relatives, friends and colleagues can be good sources for referrals. Ask for as much information as you can get regarding their experience with the Realtor and whether or not they are happy to recommend them to you. Check the local yellow pages or search the web for options and leads. If you’re selling your house, see if there are any sold signs within your neighborhood.
Buyers and sellers alike should go for a Realtor who is familiar with the location. Find out if they have sold or listed in the place of late. If you’re a buyer, a Realtor must be able to give you vital information on the community, such as taxes, proximity to schools and hospitals, and so on. If you’re selling a property, your agent should keep prospective buyers in the know about such details.
Define and stay in your range.
As a buyer or a seller, it’s a must to choose a Realtor who sticks to your price range. For instance, if you want to purchase a house priced between $250,000 and $300,000, you have to check listings in your local paper to know which listing Realtors are within that range. If a Realtor works with more expensive or cheaper homes, they won’t be as knowledgeable when showing you properties in your own price range.
Choose a Realtor you can get along with.
After coming up with a shortlist of Realtors, look for the one who seems to jive best with your personality. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’ll be spending quite some time with this professional, so it’s important to choose someone you feel compatible with.