How to Choose a Realtor
Buying a new house needs some serious prep work, starting with straightening up your credit background to saving up sufficient funds for the deposit. But that’s hardly all. You also want an ally who will be there to lead you to homes you’ll absolutely love, find the best possible mortgage for you, and just basically help you through this normally complicated process. That’s where the services of a real estate broker or agent come in handy.
Below are tips that can help you find a good realtor:
Know the differences among different real estate professional titles.
The first thing you may notice is that there are so many titles used by professionals in the industry, from agent to broker to Realtor and the others. Are they all but one and the same? Certainly not! A real estate agent can be anybody who has obtained a license to sell property, after completing over 100 hours of course work and passing a qualifying test administered by the state. An agent who has furthered his studies and can hire agents to work under him is known as a real estate broker. A Realtor can be an agent or broker who is a certified member of the National Association of Realtors(R). Realtors keep to a strict code of ethics dictating how they must treat their client. Think of it as extra insurance that they’re devoted to your cause.
Consider more than real estate broker or agent.
The NAR says at least 66% of first-time buyers contacted only one real estate broker, and that a wrong practice. Besides, how can you be so sure about making the right choice if you didn’t even look around? Any extra work you do today can really pay off in the near future. Explore at least two or three agents, compare them and choose the best.
Set up an interview with your prospects.
This is a crucial step that you shouldn’t skip. And during the interview, ask questions that delve into the following:
Knowledge and Experience in the Local Scene
You want to work with a seasoned agent–not necessarily with decades of experience, but at least with more than two years of experience. On the other hand, someone who just got their license should not be automatically removed from your list, if they have lived in your preferred location for a long time. When making a decision, find a balance between overall experience and local experience.
Alone or with a Team?
If an agent works with a team, you can expect faster response times and greater attention. Obviously, this is because a lot of people will be working on the same tasks, such as drawing up a realtor marketing plan.
Finally, it’s always better to choose a full-time agent because you know they’ll always be available. If you have to adjust to their convenience before you can see houses, you could be missing out on a lot of great properties. Availability is particularly important if you want to buy a house as soon as possible.