Searching for a Realtor: How to Find The One
Finding the right realtor to help you buy or sell your home can seem daunting. It is a big decision to make! Whoever you choose as your realtor will be your guide,advocate, and in charge of the fate of your most valuable asset: your current or prospective home. But oftentimes, initial online searches can make it seem that there are too many choices. Before you go to meet a realtor in person, make sure you know what questions to ask so you can hire the person who will best serve you.
Obviously, the more experience your realtor has, the more they’ll be able to help you. Knowing how long your realtor has been in the business is paramount. Beyond that, ask if they work in real-estate full time. It’s in your best interest to hire someone who is fully dedicated to the industry, and therefore fully dedicated to you. You’ll also want to work with someone who has experience with your current or desired neighborhood, as they can tell you about the housing market, local dynamic, and whatever else matters to you when joining a new neighborhood. Lastly, it can be helpful to know if your realtor is active in their local realtor association. By keeping current with the industry, taking classes, and networking, the realtor will have more skills and knowledge to offer you.
You’ll want to know right away if your realtor has a team or works solo. The home buying and selling processes can involve intensive amounts of communication between realtors and their clients, so make sure you know who exactly you’ll be hearing from on a regular basis and who you should go to with questions, concerns, or news. Too often people are surprised when they work with realtor teams, as the varying levels of experience and different lines of communication can make things complicated. Besides learning about who you’ll be communicating with, don’t forget to discuss how and when you’ll be communicating. Do you never check your emails, or find that you are most available later in the evening? The best realtors will accommodate your preferences.
Is your realtor likable? Can you trust them? It’s important to hire someone who is enjoyable to talk to and gives you the confidence that when it comes time to negotiate, you know they’ve got your back. When interviewing, ask the realtor for an example of a recently successful negotiation. What strategy did they use? Why do they think it went well? Interviewing prospective realtors is a special opportunity to get the information you need to prevent any unpleasant surprises down the road. Before meeting with any realtors, decide what is important to you in the home buying or selling process. By keeping that in mind and bringing it to the conversation when meeting with realtors, you can follow your instincts as to whether or not that person will understand, respect, and advocate for your needs. When you meet the right realtor, you’ll know.
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