Study: My Understanding of Sales
Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent
If you need the services of a real estate agent, you’ll obviously want the best. However, with so many out there that you can choose from, how do you know which one is right for you?
Whether you plan to buy or sell a property, here are tips you can use:
1. Talk to references.
Ask for a list of properties your prospective agent has listed and sold in the past year, complete with contact information. If you’re a seller, ask them if the properties they’ve sold are similar to yours in terms of key features like price and location. Of course, you want someone who actually specializes in what you’re selling.
2. See to it that they are licensed.
There are state boards that issue licenses to real estate agents. Stick to an agent who has one. Contact your state board to verify.
3. Go with an agent who possesses the right credentials.
Just like lawyers and doctors, real estate agents have specialties too. Common designations today include Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). An agent who refers to himself as a Realtor with a capital “R” is someone who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). If you hire a Realtor, you can be assured of an agent who has formally pledged to follow the NAR’s code of ethics.
4. Work with an experienced agent.
Know how long your potential agent has been working in the industry. You can ask the agent directly or check with your state licensing authority. You’d like to stick to prospects who have spent at least five years in the business. You don’t want your transaction to be an experiment.
5. View current listings.
Spend time to check an agent’s online listings. You can check their own website and realtor sites, where you can usually search an online database of properties in the MLS. Nowadays, people start their search on the Internet, and you’ll want an agent who can manipulate this tool for your maximum benefits. You want to be able to tap that big market out there, or you’ll be losing a lot opportunities.
6. Inquire about other for-sale properties nearby.
A good agent is someone who knows about several properties within the area where you’re looking. Mention one or two properties that are for sale or may have been sold recently. If the agent is able to provide a few details, that indicates that he’s quite familiar with the place.
Before choosing an agent, you should have considered at least two or three prospects and made comparisons. You can’t say someone is right for you if there is no point of reference.
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