Choosing a Realtor
A new home purchase demands some prep work, from straightening up your credit records to saving sufficient cash for the down payment. Of course, you also need a pro who can help you through the process. That’s where the help of an expert can be invaluable.
The following are tips that can help you find the right real estate professional:
Are “agent, broker and Realtor(R)” all the same? Not always! Anybody who is licensed to sell real estate property is a real estate agent. To get this license, these agents usually had to complete no less than 100 hours of course work as well as pass a state exam. A broker is someone who has taken more cousework and has a brokerage firm where he hires agents to work for him. If either an agent or a broker is a member of the National Association of Realtors(R), then he can be called a Realtor(R). There are stringent requirements for admission as a NAR member, and all members are committed to a strict code of ethics which, if violated, can mean termination of membership.
A simple Internet search can be very helpful. Look for realtors in your area and explore their profiles. It’s good to focus on their experience, number of homes sold and the price range of home they usually deal with.
Before you choose a particular agent, ask them questions to help you decide if they’re right for you. Below are some good ones:
How many years have you worked in the area?
It’s good to hire an experienced agent, but a newly licensed one should not be automatically stricken off your list. If this newbie has lived in the area their whole life, they probably know more about it than an agent who’s been in the industry for ages but only recently moved to the place. The idea is to balance general and local experience when making a choice.
Do you work by yourself or with a group?
many independent agents are excellent, but a team’s value cannot be ignored either. When you work with a team, you have faster response times and more availability.
When are you usually available?
Whether you’re working with an independent agent or a team, availability is always a main concern. If the agent you’ve chosen works full-time, this is normally a non-issue. Otherwise, it’s a must that your schedules are consistent with each other, or you may miss out on many quality finds.
At the end of the day, you want someone you are happy to work with. It’s hard to work with an agent who makes you feel uncomfortable in any way. Even if you’re in a rush to purchase a house, there’s no need to stress yourself out in the process.