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Buying or Selling a Home: What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?

how to choose a real estate agent

Buying or selling a home is a long and sometimes exhausting process, but the right real estate agent can make all the difference. Here’s what makes a good real estate agent to make the journey more enjoyable.

In 2017, Americans sold more than 6 million homes. Most of these people used a real estate agent- and for good reason. Using a trusted real estate agent can ensure the entire process goes smoothly- removing much of the stress associated with buying or selling a home.

However, not all real estate agents have your best interests in mind. In this article, you’ll learn what makes a good real estate agent, so you can make the right choice.

Ready? Let’s get started.

What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?

Finding the right real estate agent is about balancing chemistry and credentials. It’s important that you like each other, but you also need someone who has the experience and qualifications to get the job done.

Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a realtor:

Years in Business

This is one of the most important things to consider when you’re looking for a real estate agent. Sure, experience doesn’t necessarily equal success, but since real estate is based on commission, agents that don’t have what it takes won’t stay in business for very long.

Buying and selling your home is one of the biggest financial experiences you’ll have. That’s why you should look for an agent that has at least five years of experience. Otherwise, they’re still learning on the job- and with you.

Agents who have years of experience under their belts are more likely to easily navigate any bumps further down the road.

Number of Clients

No one wants to feel like their agent doesn’t have enough time for them- particularly if they have questions or concerns. It’s a good idea to ask how many other clients your agent is working with.

If they have a high volume, ask what they’ll do in the event that you need more support. Do they have a licensed assistant or other team members who can step in?

Sellers and Buyers

Many agents choose to work primarily with either sellers or buyers. This can mean that they’re very good at their job, but it can also give them limited perspective.

If you’re buying a home for the first time, it may be a good idea to find an agent who focuses on buyers. And if you’re hoping to sell and buy at the same time, these transactions will be much more smooth if one agent can handle the entire process.

Consider Credentials

Just as doctors and lawyers have specialties, so do real estate agents. Many will have a number of letters after their names which indicate that they’ve had additional training in an area of real estate. Here’s what they mean:
Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR)
This means that the agent has completed extra training to help them represent buyers in real estate transactions.
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
This means that the agent has completed extra training in residential real estate.
Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
This means that the agent has completed training which helps them represent both sellers and buyers aged 50 and over.

If you notice that your agent is a Realtor (capital R) then they’re also a member of the National Association of Realtors which has a stringent ethical code.

If you’re looking for a real estate agent with a particular specialty or extra training, keep the above credentials in mind.

Knowlege of the Area

Some agents are experts in particular neighborhoods, while others will sell throughout the state. It’s a good idea to find someone in the middle.

If you find someone who knows the area you’re looking to buy, you’ll get the inside scoop. They’ll know about the commute times, local schools, and any building or construction proposals in the neighborhood.

Talk to them about what’s currently available in the area in your price range. If they’re educated about the neighborhood, they should be able to give you at least a few properties.

You should also check what other houses they’ve handled in the area. Ask for both the prices that the houses were originally listed for and what the houses actually sold for.

Check Current Listings

When you’re comparing agents, look at their listings online. There are a number of real estate websites you can explore, along with the agency’s site. These days, most buyers will begin their search online. That’s why it’s important that your agent is also using the internet effectively. View here to learn more.

Consider whether they’re marketing their listings effectively. Compare these properties to the property you’d like to sell or buy. Are they in the same price range? Are they located in a similar area? Do they have enough listings that their business is healthy but not so many that you’ll be competing for their time and attention?

Ask the Recommended Price

If you’re selling a home, it’s a good idea to get listing prices from a few agents. They’ll let you know how much similar homes in the area have sold for, and how much time they typically spend on the market.

Since these agents will all have the same data, they should have similar suggested listing prices. Be wary of an agent that prices your home too high. This may seem like a good idea, but these properties often take a lot longer to sell and will usually sell for less.

If you’re priced too high, many buyers won’t even consider looking at the property. And the longer it’s advertised for, the lower your chances of selling it. That’s why it’s crucial that your agent is realistic about the listing price and can back it up with data and experience.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are many different things to consider when you’re learning what makes a good real estate agent. Keep the above points in mind, do your homework, and speak to at least a few agents before you sign on the bottom line.

If you’ve got questions about choosing an agent or you’d like to talk, get in touch today.

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