Deciding on a Real Estate Agent can be a HUGE decision as this person will be the one helping you either buy or sell one of single largest investments of your life so you want to make sure you are in good hands. In this video, I’m going to discuss how to pick a realtor and the characteristics you should look for when deciding on who you should hire.
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How to Choose A Real Estate Agent
For most people, Buying or Selling real estate is one of the largest financial transactions they will ever make. If you are considering buying a home or selling a home, it’s critical that you have the right REALTOR working on your behalf. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you what I believe are
The most important attributes to look for when deciding on who you are going to hire as your Real Estate Professional.
First and foremost, you need to work with a producing, full time Realtor. California has over 380,000 residents licensed to sell real estate. The average income for a Realtor in 2012 was $43,500. In most parts of California that equates to about 3-4 home sales for the entire year. With the fast changing economy and regulatory environment there is simply no way that person can represent your needs effectively. It may be tempting to help out your Uncle or neighbor but just as you wouldn’t go to a part time lawyer or financial advisor, you need a dedicated professional on your team.
Once you’ve determined your candidate is not moonlighting from their day job and is actually helping many families each year, you need to be sure your REALTOR is a local market expert. You’re going to be relying on your Realtor to confidently and accurately answer the detailed questions you have about the neighborhood, schools, current home values, potential for appreciation and even whether the burger stand down the street is worth your time. Make sure they have expert knowledge on the neighborhoods you will be buying in.
Next, your REALTOR must be a strong negotiator. You’ve likely heard horror stories about friends submitting offer after offer only to come away empty handed. To avoid the same fate, you need someone who isn’t afraid to ask tough questions or risk ruffling a few feathers to insure you get the right home at the right price. At the same time, they need to have strong people skills to achieve as much as possible through teamwork and cooperation. Even in a big state like California, local real estate is a small community and your reputation precedes you. A quick and easy test is to simply ask a potential Realtor what you consider to be a tough question. If they can’t negotiate with you, they won’t be able to negotiate on your behalf.
That brings me into the next characteristic your REALTOR should possess; systems and organization. A real estate transaction is complex and involves many parties. Mortgages, appraisals, inspections and contingencies all must be managed to keep your escrow on schedule. Your real estate professional must stay ahead of any issues that could arise while keeping you, escrow, the seller and the selling agent updated on the progress of your purchase. You need someone who is there to help guide you through the process and help you over any hurdles that arise.
The last and possibly most important Attribute your REALTOR should possess, is AVAILABILITY AND COMMUNICATION. DS News recently reported that 42% of buyers who have recently bought a home feel that the number one issue they had with the home buying process was the “lack of timely follow up by the real estate agent”. The survey goes on to say that 36% of the home buyers felt their biggest issue was “being shown homes that didn’t meet their needs”. The takeaway is clearly that most people felt that their agent wasn’t available and didn’t take the time to understand their needs. Real estate moves fast and you don’t have time to wait for a call back or to explain 6 times that you need a 4th bedroom or 3 car garage.
Are you already working with a Realtor? How do they rate on these 5 critical characteristics? Hopefully you feel like you are in good hands. If your agent falls a little short or you’re just now deciding who to work with, I’d love to discuss how I work with buyers and sellers to make sure all of their needs are met. As a Real Estate Broker, I pride myself on all of the qualities above as well as my integrity and eagerness to HELP. But don’t take my word for it, visit www.jebsmith.net and click on my client reviews to hear what others are saying about their working with me. When you’re ready to talk, call me at 714.376.2711 for a no obligation consultation.
I appreciate you taking the time and I really hope to hear from you soon.