5 Tips for Choosing the Right Realtor
For most people, their home is the biggest investment of their life. Whether you are buying or selling a home, you want to be sure you are maximizing that investment. Choosing the right Realtor can make a big difference in how fast you find or sell a house, the price you pay or receive and the smooth completion of the transaction.
You will need to do some research to find the one that is right for you. It is not hard, but it will take a little time; however, finding the right match will pay off in the end. Here are 5 tips that will help in your search for a realtor.
- Go with a Pro
The terms agent, broker, and realtor are often used interchangeably. However, not all agents or brokers are Realtors. The term “Realtor” identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict code of ethics, which in some cases goes beyond state law.
- Get Referrals
Friends, neighbors, and co-workers are often good sources for referrals. Get as many details as possible about their buying or selling experience with a particular agent. Were they happy with the service they received? Would they use the Realtor again? You can also check the local yellow pages or search the Internet to scope out your options and find leads. If you are selling, look for sold signs in your neighborhood.
- Think Locally
If you are buying, a Realtor should be able to provide you with information on the community, the schools, taxes and other facts. If you are selling, you want your agent to be able to talk to prospective buyers about these details.
- Stay in Your Range
Whether you are buying or selling, choose a Realtor who concentrates on your price range. For example, if you’re looking to buy a house in the range of $250,000 to $300,000, you should check the real estate listings in the local paper to see which Realtors are listing houses in that range. A Realtor who focuses on homes that are more expensive will not be as knowledgeable about what is available in your price range.
- Agree on Expectations
If you are selling a house, ask your agent to put together a written marketing plan detailing the steps they will take to sell your home. The agent should offer advice on how to prepare your home for the market and who has enthusiasm for your property. If you are buying a home, make sure you know how often your agent will supply you with listings and how many houses you can expect to see in a week.