I am a real estate agent and I’ve worked with real estate agents on all of my own real estate transactions. I know from personal experience how much they can help you. But I also know that not all real estate agents are created equal.
So how do you find the one who can guide you through the process intelligently and help you close a great deal? Here’s a list of things you should look for.
• A great real estate agent will listen to you carefully. I am a great listener. I have to be in order to really help you. When I meet you for the first time, I will pepper you with questions to find out what you’re looking for, what you really want, why you want it, and most important, what you think you can afford.
• A great real estate agent will help you figure out what you really can afford. The first thing a top-notch agent will do is ask how you plan on purchasing your new home. A great agent will also provide you with referrals to lenders who can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage.
• A great real estate agent will save you time by narrowing your search. I won’t run you ragged (and waste your time) by dragging you around to countless properties. Rather, I will help you figure out what you are looking for, show you a selection online, and allow you to narrow your choices before you actually hit the streets. I will then “tour you” to ones you’ve chosen—and keep track of what you like.
• A great real estate agent will educate you about the market. I know more than simply what’s for sale in a particular neighborhood. I know or get to know the neighborhood. I can tell you all about an area’s history, what makes it special, and where I see the market there going. If you’re looking at a new development, I will get to know the developer’s track record and plans for the future.
• A great real estate agent will show you ways to get more value from the property. From the moment I first see a house, I’m thinking about what could be done to increase its value. Install new kitchen cabinets, redo the floors, knock out the back bedroom and add a master bath—I will look at houses and immediately begin suggesting ways you could make it more valuable.
• A great real estate agent will hold your hand at closing. The closing of a home purchase at the title office can be a scary few hours. I will go over the paperwork with you , checking it for errors. I will also work closely with you and your mortgage banker or broker to make sure everything is as it should be.
I am an agent who is ready, willing, and able to do all these things.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK TOUGH QUESTIONS schedule a meeting with me and treat our meeting like an actual interview. You get to ask the questions as well!!
• How many clients are you currently working with?
• What makes you a good real estate agent?
• Do you have a team or an assistant? Will I be working with them or you?
• Can you give me the names of three clients you’ve worked with whose situation was similar to mine?
Based on their responses, ask yourself how you think it would be to work closely with each of them. Does your gut say this person is trustworthy? The only correct answer is whether the agent feels right for you. It’s all about chemistry.
Finally, before you commit to a particular agent, check them out with your state’s real-estate commission or licensing board. You want to verify that your choice is not only licensed but also that his or her license is in “good standing,” meaning the agent has kept current with all educational requirements. You also want to find out whether he or she has any record of complaints or disciplinary actions