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 need an ally who can help guide you toward homes you’ll love, look for the best possible mortgage, and just basically be there you throughout the entire financially and emotionally challenging process. That’s where a well-chosen real estate broker or agent can create a difference.
Here are tips to help you find the right 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 the same? Certainly not! A real estate agent is someone who has earned a license to sell real estate property, where the requirements typically include taking 100+ hours of course work and passing a test administered by the state. A real estate broker is a professional who has taken advanced studies and can hire agents working under them. 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. Consider it extra assurance that they’re serious about promoting your cause.
Don’t limit yourself to one prospective real estate broker or agent.
According to the NAR, more than 65% of first-time home buyers talked to only one real estate broker before proceeding, which is just totally wrong. Besides, how can you be so sure about making the right choice if you didn’t even look around? Any legwork you put in extra can actually pay off in the long term. Make sure you explore at least two or three agents and grill them before deciding who’s right for you.).
Interview your prospects.
This is a crucial step that you shouldn’t skip. And during the interview, ask questions that delve into the following:
Specific Local Knowledge and Experience
You want a seasoned agent–and though they don’t need decades of experience, choosing someone who has only been in the industry for a year or two can be risky. 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. Balance overall experience versus local experience when you decide.
Alone with with a Group?
An agent who works with a team can respond faster to your concerns and give you more attention. This is clearly because people will be helping each other for the same task, such as making a realtor marketing plan.
Lastly, it’s always better to go with the full-time agent because you know availability will not be a problem. If you can only see houses during their convenient time, you could be missing out on many good ones. Availability is specifically important if you have to purchase a house ASAP.