The biggest mistake people make when it comes to choosing a realtor, is they choose either the person who tells them the highest list price or they choose a friend, family member, or neighbor that happens to be a realtor. It could be a friend or the agent who tells you the highest price that is the right agent for you, but there are several other things you need to consider before choosing a great realtor that fits your needs.
How well do they know the area?
It is important that you have a realtor who either has lived in the area a long time or is very knowledgeable about your marketplace. One of the most valuable services a realtor can offer is their insights on local neighborhoods. Therefore, using an agent that does not know your neighborhood can put you at a disadvantage.
How well do they know the current market conditions?
A great realtor should be able to instantly offer advice about the current market conditions and how they will affect your buying and selling aspirations. Active real estate agents monitor the market on a daily basis so they can intelligently help their clients successfully navigate the current conditions. When you are hiring a professional to spearhead one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, you want to be assured that they are qualified to do so.
How well do they know the Industry?
A great agent has years of experience or is working on a team with years of experience. Experience is knowledge, and knowledge is what you need to help someone successfully and smoothly navigate a real estate transaction.
Are they taking time to understand your needs and goals?
A great agent would ask you questions such as “What is your motivation for selling?” “What is your timeline?”and “What are the top five things you are looking for in a new home purchase?” to name a few. It is very important for an agent to understand your needs from the beginning so moving forward in the buying or selling process your agent can help you tailor a plan to meet your goals. Working with an agent that has your goals top of mind ensures that they understand what is most important to you as you move through the buying or selling process.
Are they telling you the truth or what you want to hear?
A great agent is one that is honest with you regardless of whether the news is good or bad. From the beginning, it is important that an agent sets realistic expectations about your goals and whether they are achievable in the current real estate market. Choosing the agent that makes the most promises is not always a great agent, it is the agent that can present a coherent plan based on current data and proven experience.
Do they have the ability to negotiate on your behalf?
It’s important to hire an agent that can read any given situation and has the ability to advocate for you. If you are a buyer your agent needs to have a grasp on how many other offers there are and what is most important to the sellers. If you are a seller your agent should know how to deal with a multiple offer situation or the opposite, multiple showings but no offers. This is probably the number one thing you are hiring an agent for.
How qualified is your prospective agent?
It is important you hire an agent that is experienced in the current real estate market, has industry credentials, and client testimonials to prove their professional expertise and level of service. You want an agent that not only has your best interests at heart but is qualified to support you at every stage of the transaction.
These are all the qualifications of a great agent, but it is important to note that not every great agent is a great fit for you. Your agent should be someone who has earned your trust. You will likely spend ample time communicating and interacting with your real estate agent and if you do not connect with them that is reason enough to look for another agent. Working with a qualified agent that you like and trust should make the buying and/or selling process an exciting experience!