How to Choose a Real Estate Agent When You’re Ready to Buy
Selecting a real estate agent is a bit like interviewing for a job; but there’s an important difference. Instead of hoping to make a great impression with the interviewer, you hold all the cards, and it is you that a smart agent will want to impress. Look for someone who is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, experienced, and energetic. Perhaps the most important trait is the ability to listen, coupled with in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market, whether it’s the urban landscape, or a more rural setting such as Grey County Real Estate.
Searching for a home — or selling a home — can be a lengthy and sometimes stressful process. You’ll want to develop a rapport with your real estate agent, and have confidence that your agent will act professionally, and in your best interests. In addition, you want an agent who is available for meetings and showings in accordance with your schedule and on your terms. Realistically, working with a real estate agent is a two-way street; it is, however, a business relationship rather than a friendship, and should be handled professionally.
Six Key Points to Consider
As you begin your search for a compatible agent, consider the following:
- Credentials and Affiliations: Double check with the local Realtor’s Association or Brokerage to ensure that an agent’s license is valid and up to date, and that no disciplinary actions are pending;
- Professional Designations and Awards: Consider it a bonus, and a sign of professional pride, if an agent has completed advanced training or secured additional professional certification;
- Experience: Even though everyone has to start as a beginner, a “seasoned” real estate agent often is able to offer sage advice about pricing, value, location and property potential;
- Local Knowledge: Familiarity with a specific local market can be an immense advantage; an agent who lives in the same community often possesses in-depth insights;
- Referrals and Recommendations: Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers for referrals. But take the next step, and ask a prospective agent for a list of previous clients that you can contact. You need only ask a couple of questions to get an idea of an agent’s reputation. Ask pointedly if a buyer or seller would choose to work with the same agent in the future, and judge accordingly.
- Current Listings and Recent Closings: The best real estate agents are busy agents. Only you can judge how busy is too busy. But consistent performance counts, so you’d probably be wise to cross off your list any real estate agent who cannot show a satisfactory record of listings, sales and closings over the past year.
Communication is Key
Because working with a real estate agent, whether as a seller or a buyer, involves a relatively long-term relationship, the ability to communicate openly, honestly and easily is an important factor. If you have any misgivings during an initial meeting with a prospective agent, address those concerns immediately, or move on to the next candidate if necessary.
Never hesitate to ask specific questions during an initial interview. It’s especially important if you’re interested in rural properties. Agents who specialize in Grey County real estate instinctively understand the appeal of a home that allows residents to capitalize on an outdoor lifestyle while still enjoying proximity to the attractions and opportunities afforded city dwellers.
If that’s your goal, please contact me at your convenience.