Real estate processes might look easy as pie for some. Selling and buying might seem easy. If you think putting up a for sale sign outside, listing your home in the MLS, or searching some real estate sites is enough, then you are wrong. Real estate process can be complicated and knotty especially for first time home buyers and with this fact comes a need for a real estate agent who is knowledgeable, dependable, and easy to work with, as well as someone whom you can trust.
Picking the right real estate agent can be time consuming as in buying or selling properties. There are thousands of real estate agents in your area waiting for you to hire and though hiring one can cost you some amount, it is worth to have one very good agent by your side to help you with your real estate transactions. However, when you pick one, make sure that you ask the following questions:
1. How long have you been in the business? 2. What is your average list-price-to-sales-price ratio? 3. What is your marketing strategy for my needs? 4. Will you please provide references? 5. How much do you charge? 6. What separates you from the rest of the agents?
How about a freshly licensed agent? It doesn’t matter actually as long as they have excellent training and have access to experienced mentors. As a matter of fact, fresh agents, tend to focus more on their clients compared to experienced agents; perhaps because they have lots of things to do after 20 years of doing real estate transactions.
A good buyer’s agent should be able to negotiate a sales price that is lower than list price for buyers. A competent listing agent should hold a track record for negotiating sales prices that are very close to list prices. In other words, a good listing agent should have higher ratios closer to 100 percent while buyer’s agent ratios should fall below 99 percent.
Home buyers and sellers have different needs. Buyers need to know how the agent can search for the type of house he’s looking for, how long does it take or how many houses does it take before he can buy, how intense is the competition, and so on. Sellers, on the other hand, need to know how their homes will be sold, the marketing strategy to be used, and so on.
A ‘good’ real estate agent is honest and trustworthy, friendly, analytical, good communicator, assertive, excellent negotiator, available by phone or email as often as possible whenever you need him/her, and he must be compose even in a very stressful time. And while interviewing him/her, pay close attention to subtle signals like how you feel when you are interviewing him/her.
Gather as much information about the agent as well as the company he is working for. In your search, watch out for fake agents.