Real Talk about Realtors
Buying the house of your dreams can be a very exciting time in your life. It also can be very complicated. Not only do you have to view many different houses to find out which one is right for you, but you also need to stick to a budget while negotiating according to the standards of the law. If that isn’t confusing enough there is paperwork, mortgage criteria, and testing that should be conducted before striking a deal on your future home. That is why it is helpful to hire a real estate agent. Not only do they know the ins and outs of the real estate market but a good realtor is familiar with the paperwork, testing and caveats that come with buying a new home. Here are some tips on landing the best real estate agent possible. 1. Start by talking to their previous clients. Ask an agent for homes they have sold in the past year. Not only will you learn if they were thorough, communicative and friendly but you can also see if they have your best interests in mind. If you’re selling, ask if the previous properties were similar to yours in price, location and other salient features. What you want is someone who specializes in exactly what you’re selling. This will also give you an idea regarding how familiar they are with what you are looking for and a fair makert value for that dream home. 2. States will have boards that license and discipline real estate agents. Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out if a prospective agent is licensed and if there have been any disciplinary actions or complaints. 3. Select an agent with awards. Peer given awards say a lot about a realtor. They are considered the best of the best by their realtor peers. 4. Not all realtors specialize in the same area. Just like doctors they each have their own specialty and area of interest. Here’s what some of the designations mean: * CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate. * ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions. * SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range. If the agent calls him or herself a Realtor with a capital “R,” that means they’re a member of NAR. 5. Research how long the agent has been in the business. Generally a real estate agent who has been practicing for 5 years or more is well rounded and very educated in the field. 6. Look online to see what a real estate agent is listing. Are they similar to what you are looking for? Are they in the same area? Is the price range similar? And does the agent have enough listings to indicate a healthy business but not so many that you’d just be a number? 7. Ask the realtor about a sale that recently took place in the area. They should be able to give basic information of the property off the top of their head. That means they are well versed in the area as well as the recent market. Choosing a realtor can make or break any real estate transaction. The best realtors will provide the most knowledge and best experience overall. Another perk is, most realtors know who the best home inspectors are and will steer you in a positive direction when it comes time to make an offer and inspect the home of your dreams.