Buying and selling property can be nerve-racking for even the most experienced marketers. Whether it’s buying a first home, moving on to the next home, finally settling into a dream home or pursuing capital gains through property investment, before entering the market to make any deal, it is wise to first seek the assistance of an agent or Realtor® – a qualified authority with the knowledge, skills and connections to make any deal happen. However, finding a good real estate agent can be a daunting task in itself.
In addition to being licensed to receive money from real estate transactions in the states they work in, good realtors are highly organized, empathetic and trustworthy. They strive to understand the interests of their clients and advise them accordingly. They are readily accessible and equipped to handle any set of changes from any side of any deal. Moreover, good realtors are reputable, with high recommendations from former clients as well as strong networks of peers who support them. Knowing the details about a realtor’s personal working style as well as their reputation can be useful in selecting the right one.
For anyone seeking the assistance of a real estate agent, knowing an agent’s business area is crucial. A Realtor® who exclusively works downtown would not be useful to someone who is looking to make a deal in the suburbs. What’s more, knowing if a real estate agent resides in or near their business area may provide clients initial insight into how well they might know their local market. Working with an agent who knows not only the local listings, but also details about the schools, parks, government offices, businesses, shops, restaurants and entertainment establishments of his or her area is an advantage for clients, and can often be the defining factor in what makes a deal successfully happen.
Knowing how long a real estate agent has been in business is also important for clients. Good Realtors have years of experience in keeping up with the trends in their local market, honing their skills in sales, negotiation and conflict resolution as well as building their reputation with clients and peers. Less experienced realtors–or those new to their business areas–may not yet possess the expertise required to effectively serve their clients. While being experienced does not necessarily make a realtor good, knowing a realtor’s level of experience may also provide cursory insight into how well they might be able to serve any client’s interest.
Clients who know to ask about their prospective real estate agent’s specialty are saving themselves a lot of time. Some Realtors specialize in land transactions for large commercial and residential developments while others deal exclusively in homes. Knowing exactly what an agent specializes in is another vital aspect of finding the right one. Details about a real estate agent’s specialty are also critical. For example, a Realtor who specializes in $300K – $500K homes would not be useful to someone in the market to purchase an $80K condominium. Likewise, an agent who specializes in $80K – $120K condominiums would not be useful to someone in the market to sell 25 acres of land.
Good Realtors have robust networks of connections across a variety of lending institutions. Details about an agent’s lending networks are essential. Some real estate agents cater specifically to clients who are in the process of building their credit, some work exclusively with clients who have well-established credit, and some work with clients at all levels of credit. Some agents also cater to clients who seek to take advantage of special lending programs that may be available to them, like FHA loans and VA loans. Knowing which lending institutions and financial products an agent works with may also help potential clients make the right choices. Knowing details about how well a real estate agent works with his or her lenders is equally important: High approval rates, as well as close working relationships with closing managers, may also be indicative of the quality of a Realtor’s service.
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