How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

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Real Estate Agent

There are over 1 million realtors in the United States, and not all of them are worth hiring. When you’re getting ready to buy or sell a home, choosing a real estate agent is not something you should do lightly. Your home is one of the biggest investments you have, and you want someone at your side that respects that and you. Scrolling through a list of agents and randomly picking one isn’t going to be beneficial; you want someone you can trust, but how can you tell if the real estate agent you’re dealing with is good or bad at their job?

Signs of good real estate agent

They listen

“I’m sorry, were you saying something?” while the agent looks at their phone is never something you want to hear. You should always feel as though you’re being heard and actually listened to, and that the words aren’t going in one ear and out the other.

They know the ins and outs of legal and financial aspects of the industry

One of the main reasons buyers and sellers don’t want to go the process alone is because of the mounds of paperwork and legal jargon that come with buying or selling a home. The real estate agent should be aware of the mortgage process, what loans can and can’t be used to buy certain homes, and what you can get with the money you have. If he seems to know his stuff, great, if not, move on fast.

They have the right qualifications

Other than having a real estate license, the agent should also be a member of the National Association of Realtors (or at least regional), and have a good amount of recent classes and seminars under their belt to stay up-to-date on information relevant to your needs.

They have a lot of referrals

While newbies aren’t going to have a lot of referrals behind them, real estate agents who have been in the industry for some time should, and they should have no problem providing you with a list if you ask for it.

They work with you on your schedule

Most real estate agents understand that not everyone can just leave work to go see a house during the day, even if it’s on a weekend. A good agent will work with you to find a time that accommodates the both of you.

Signs of bad real estate agent

They have problems on their record

If a real estate agent has a track record that’s dotted with complaints, disciplinary actions, and violations, quickly run for the door. Every state has a real estate professional licensing bureau that can provide you with info on a real estate agent’s background.

They’re not easily accessible

Called twice in two days and he hasn’t called back? Time to move on. Real estate agents may not get back to you within the hour, but anyone worth their credentials will call you back within four hours or less.

They can’t explain things properly

If your real estate agent doesn’t seem to know what they’re talking about, you’re not dealing with someone reputable. When you ask questions, they should be able to easily provide answers without having to consult a handbook.

They don’t help you navigate what works and what doesn’t

You’re not always going to know what’s going to make your home sell quicker, which is why you have your real estate agent behind you. If they don’t help you and stand silent without offering feedback, then they are not earning their commission. 

They’re unprofessional

In today’s market, buyers and sellers are all about information, and if a real estate agent is going to provide it in the most half-hearted way possible, you need an upgrade. For example, no real estate agent worth their money is going to post cell phone pictures of the property, nor are they going to leave the description section blank on a listing. If your gut is telling you the person needs to get some more training, you’re probably right.

Final Thought

Doing your research and asking for referrals are two of the best ways to find out how legit your real estate agent is. A home is a huge investment, and the last thing you want is to lose out on money because you didn’t put in enough effort. Do the work; find a real estate agent that will work for and with you, and you’ll be in a new home in no time.

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