Is purchasing a home on your to-do list in the near future? Perhaps you are preparing to list your home for the Spring Market of 2017. It can be completely overwhelming to look at all of the moving pieces involved with the real estate puzzle. Yet, when you choose and hire a professional real estate agent, the stress can almost immediately start to fade away! So, how do you choose a great real estate agent?
Published originally in the Loudoun Times Mirror, we wanted to also share our tips here on the blog.
- Have an interview with several potential agents.Too many buyers and sellers fail to spend the time interviewing agents, yet buying or selling a home is one of the largest financial event in their lives. Even if you receive a glowing recommendation for a real estate agent from someone you know well and trust, that agent may not be the right fit for you.
- Ask during your interview about their communication style and discover what their turnaround time is on phone calls, texts and emails. Ask them questions to discover if they are knowledgeable about the market, about the various stages of a transaction, and learn how much they know about your local area. How tough of a negotiator are they? Do relationships matter to them and do they operate with ethics and values that match yours?
- Discover whether you will be working with a team during your transaction or if they a solo agent(neither is better than another, it simply depends on your preferences). It is best to know upfront who you will be working with during the real estate process.
- Ask them to share with you, once you’ve divulged your needs, their understanding of what you are looking for in a home, or what your purchasing parameters are. Ensure that your agent is focused on not just their presentation or pitch, but on what you’re saying between the lines. If you are selling, request that your agent is truthful and realistic about the current market when discussing the pricing of your home. Pricing your home correctly at the beginning can often help you avoid extra days "on the market" (which eliminates potential buyers from wondering what's wrong with the house).
- What is important to your agent? What core values do they work from? Do they have experience and empathy? Regardless of how far away you are moving, it is bound to be stressful. New jobs, schools, friends, perhaps even new climates will need to be adjusted to. Choosing a real estate agent who can look ahead of the transaction and help minimize challenges based on their innate knowledge of the situation will come in handy.
- Ask your agent what they will do to get the job done. How will they help to inject calm and anxiety-free moments during the process? Is your Agent savvy with all aspects of the transaction, including how to correctly stage your home or if you are buying, how will they go above and beyond to find potential homes for you that are not currently.
- Finally, go with your gut. If you’ve met an agent and it doesn’t feel like a great fit, move on.
- Buying and selling a home can be a large undertaking, but with the right real estate agent on your side, the process can be a lot smoother, and perhaps even enjoyable!