Choosing a Realtor
Purchasing a new home requires a lot of prep work, from saving enough money to make a downpayment to improving your credit score. Of course, you need a pro as well – someone who can guide you in the entire process. That’s where an expert can make a difference.
The following are tips that can help you find the right real estate professional:
When they say agent, broker or Realtor(R), does it all mean the same? Not exactly! A real estate agent is anybody with a license for selling property. To get this license, these agents usually had to complete no less than 100 hours of course work as well as pass a state exam. A broker is an agent who has taken additional coursework, opened a brokerage firm and hired agents to work under him. If an agent or broker is a member of the National Association of Realtors(R), he may then be referred to as a Realtor(R). Becoming a NAR member entails some stringent requirements, and if a member violates the organization’s strict code of ethics, his membership can be terminated.
A simple web search can be very useful. Look for realtors in your area and explore their profiles. You’d like to focus on how long they’ve been in the industry, how many homes they’ve sold and what property price range they usually work in.
Interviewing Prospective Agents
Before choosing an agent, don’t hesitate to ask questions so you can better decide if they are indeed the best for you. Here are some of the most important ones:
How long have you been working in the area?
It’s good hire a veteran in the industry, but don’t think that the newly licensed agent is automatically wrong for you. If this novice has been a resident of the area since birth, he likely has more knowledge about it than the old-timer who just moved to the place. The idea is to balance general and local experience when making a choice.
Do you work alone or with a team?
You will find many standalone agents excellent, but don’t underestimate the importance of a team. Two big advantages offered by a team are increased availability and speedier response times.
What’s your schedule?
Whether you choose a team or an independent agent, availability will always be a major point. If you have a full-time agent, this is usually not a problem. Otherwise, you need to be sure that your schedules match, or you could miss out on many good properties.
At the end of the day, you’d like to find someone you can get along with. It’s a challenge to work with an agent who seems to make things uncomfortable for you. No matter how badly you need to buy a house, there’s no need to put yourself under that kind of stress.