A home is often the biggest investment in a person’s lifetime. Therefore selecting the right real estate agent is critical, whether you are buying or selling a home. This will ensure that you maximize on your investment. Choosing the right agent also has a great bearing on the speed of completing the transaction, the price paid or received and how smooth the whole process is. Here are a few tips for choosing a real estate agent that will help you save time and money:
Check the licensing, and always choose a professional
It is important to engage a professional real estate agent in order to get the best value at the end of the process. Every area has a board or a body that licenses and supervises real agents in that jurisdiction. You need to verify with the regulatory authority that the agent you are considering is properly licensed. You also need to ask if they have any disciplinary cases or complaints. Such information may also be available online.
Always ensure that you choose a realtor for the transaction. Realtors are those real estate agents or brokers who are members of a real estate professional body. This means that they adhere to a strict code of ethics, which guarantees that their conduct during the process will be proper and above board.
Experience is key
The experience of the real estate agent you select is also very important. Since you want the best possible deal during the transaction, you do not want to use a novice. The agent should tell you how long they have been licensed and the period they have worked in the local area. In addition, the agent should give you a list of the transactions, together with contacts, that they have done in the past year. They can also provide a few details about the asking prices and the sales price relating to these transactions.
Research thoroughly and interview
You need to do research about the agents before hiring them. You may even have to do a bit of legwork. This means driving or walking around in order to find out if there is a dominant real estate agent in the locality. Look out for marketing material such as fliers in the area. If you see open houses on the market, stop by and view. This way you, will get to observe some of the agents you are considering in action. Such casual settings are ideal situations for assessing their demeanor, professionalism, and knowledge of the local area.
You need to select an agent who has positive referrals and reviews, especially in your locality. You also need to check the agent’s online reviews and ratings. This is valuable information as it will reveal the experiences that other people have had with the agent you are considering.
Because of the importance of the transaction, you need to interview at least three real agents before making the final decision. Your final choice must have demonstrable knowledge about the local area and the requisite skill and know-how relating to the process of selling or buying homes. They must be familiar with the relevant technical aspects like appraisals, titles, inspections, negotiations and financing.
Choose an agent who focuses on your price range
Whether you are selling or buying, choose a real estate agent who focuses on your price range. For instance if you want to buy a house ranging from $150,000 to $250,000, confirm with the local newspaper which agents have listed houses in that price range. An agent who mostly deals in pricier homes will most likely not be as conversant with homes that are in your range.