Finding the Right Realtor
A realtor is a state-licensed professional who assists you with the sale of your current home and/or the purchase of a new home. It is critical to choose a realtor with whom you can communicate honestly, and whose judgment and professionalism you trust.
Some tips for finding the right realtor for you:
1. Ask. Who in your life has recently sold and/or purchased property? Were they happy with their realtor? Dissatisfied? Unsatisfactory experiences are as noteworthy as are positive ones. Note who to contact, and who to stay away from!
2. Once you have some names, check real estate information in local newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do these agents list many properties? Do the properties seem to be “for sale” for a long time, or do they sell quickly? Do these agents seem overburdened with so many properties that they won’t be able to devote a reasonable amount of time to you?
3. By now, you have narrowed your search down to some real prospects. So start setting up some meetings. Pay attention to first impressions and “gut instincts” when you meet prospective agents. Additionally, notice the following:
· Do you feel comfortable talking to the agent?
· Does he/she listen actively and respond appropriately?
· Is there an eagerness for the work and an energy that suggests this person will help you meet your needs?
· Bring a list of questions to these initial meetings, and write down the answers. Keep track of every realtor you interview so you can make an informed decision about which professional can best meet your needs.
Tip: Standard interview questions should include: “How do you market a home for sale? How do you find listings for buyers?”
4. Realtors tend to know the most about the neighborhoods in which they typically list/sell/buy. As a buyer, you need an agent who is familiar with where you want to move. Yet as a seller, you want a listing agent that is familiar with where you live now. It makes sense to have two separate agents unless you’re buying and selling in the same neighborhood.
5. Attend open houses. The best way to meet a successful agent is to watch him/her work.
6. Check references. If this is someone that you just met, ask for contact information from a few of his clients to call. You should also check with your local board of Realtors to see if any complaints have been filed against this agent.
7. Request a referral. If all else fails, a local Realtors office can refer you to an agent, at which point you can follow the steps outlined above. Always meet with, interview, and checking references on any prospective realtor.
And always trust your gut when a fit feels incredibly right, or uncomfortably wrong. Remember: You will be spending a lot of time with this person, so finding a personality that you like is critical. The right realtor for you is out there!