Tips for Selecting the Right Realtor in Your Property Search
By: Ronelle Hunte-Roddy
The time has come that perusing the homes on Zillow and Realtor.com is going to become a reality. The excitement and thrill of a new home is enough to send anyone into a frenzy. There are so many factors to consider as well as determining how your home fits into that equation for the years to come. It can also become very overwhelming and the process can seem daunting when thinking about all of the variables and moving factors e.g. listing, inspections, appraisals, decluttering, showings, etc. In this process, your right hand guide and expert is going to be your realtor. Your realtor, understands the home buying and selling process better than anyone else. They are the most important piece of the puzzle and can decide whether your process goes smoothly or not.
Working with a knowledgeable agent will ensure that your property sells for top dollar (pending you heed their advisement) and that you purchase your new home for a competitive price. Here are some of the tips we recommend when selecting a realtor.
1. Choose your Realtor based on Chemistry. Experience should not be the #1 factor
All realtors are licensed, so they have rigorous coursework they must complete as well as sitting for their state exam before they can take on clients. You will be spending a lot of time with your realtor so it it important that your personalities match, they understand your family dynamics as well as your goals with your purchase. That means that they have at least a basic understanding of the process. They will have access to houses before you do and if there is a clear understanding, they will be able to help assist in making decisions quickly because they already know what your needs are.
2. Get a few referrals from people you trust
The best realtor to use is one that someone close to you has already utilized. The trusted source will be upfront and honest because they have nothing to gain or lose by telling the truth. They can honestly tell you what their experiences were and then you can make a decision before contacting.
3. Interview at least 3 realtors before making a decision
The typical time on a home mortgage is 30 years. Your right hand expert should be handpicked because you may be purchasing a forever home that could be in your family for generations to come. Your realtor should become like a part of your family. You may need to speak with more than 3 of them to find the one that meshes with your family just right.
4. Make sure to ask the right questions when you interview
Here are some sample questions you can ask your realtor
a. How long have you been a realtor?
b. How many listings do you have right now?
c. Do you have a team that supports you?
d. What is your specialty?
e. In what ways will you market my home?
f. Can you put me in contact with a few references?
5. Find out their communication preferences and hours
Different realtors have various schedules that they work. They are normally independent contractors so they decide when they work. Make sure that your realtor schedule is flexible to be able to communicate with you. If you know you will have a lot of questions, it is important that your realtor can communicate by text or email or the means that you prefer.
6. Look for relevant certifications and specialties
Good ambitious realtors seek to further their education so that they are ahead of advances and changes in the industry. The National Association of Realtors offers several certification programs focuses on many real estate specialties, from representing buyers to land consultants, commercial investments, eco-friendly real estate, and more (www.homelight.com). See the hyperlink above for the different certifications and specialties available.
While not an all inclusive list, hopefully, this helps to guide the path in selecting a realtor. We wish you good luck and hope you enjoy the process.