Why Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent Makes a Difference
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, you probably have a lot of initial questions. The process of either can be a long-winded effort that causes a lot of stress for both buyers and sellers alike. That’s why most people choose to hire a real estate agent for help. Luckily, there’s no shortage of good real estate agents on the market—there are millions of licensed agents in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean you should just hire any old agent. Choosing the right real estate agent makes a huge difference, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide for everything you need to know.
First and foremost, there are a few main reasons you should hire a real estate agent. Aside from the obvious helping hand and stress reduction, a good real estate agent will do the following:
1. Put Your Best Interests First
Contrary to what you might think, most people who try to work without a real estate agent don’t save money. Paying a real estate agent means that they have a fiduciary responsibility to you and are legally required to put your best interests first. This is extremely beneficial, especially for first time buyers or sellers, and will help you save money.
2. Offer Help Whenever You Need it
Good real estate agents have an impeccable attention to detail. They know what you need to do to get things done fast and without error. When you hire a real estate agent, they’ll offer help whenever you need it, even when you don’t know you do.
3. Give Valuable Insight
A good real estate agent knows exactly what to look for and can give you valuable insight on your sale or purchase. During open houses, they’ll be able to point out problems, benefits, or questions that need to be asked that you likely wouldn’t have thought of. Unless you’ve done an excessive amount of research and have experience in inspecting houses, real estate agents make a sound investment.
4. Be a Master Negotiators
While they’re not trained negotiators, real estate agents have a lot of real-life experience. The more experience they have, the better they are at negotiating prices. Since they’re not emotionally tied in the sale, they negotiate objectively and based on the value of a home, which is a huge help when buying or selling properties.
5. Increase Access to Listings
Finally, certain home listings are exclusive to real estate agents. If you don’t have one, you won’t ever these listings. If you have very specific needs or goals for your future home, a real estate agent will help you narrow down your search and find all of listings that appeal to you.
Signs of a Good Real Estate Agent
While sometimes it’s hard to tell if a real estate agent is right for you, there are a few telltale signs that they’re good at what they do. The following are some of the most common signs of a good real estate agent.
- They emit a sense of calm
- They’re proactive
- They’re prepared
- They have experience with the local market
- They have good credentials
- They demonstrate strong communication skills
Signs of a Bad Real Estate Agent
On the other hand, signs of a bad real estate agent are easy to spot and often give people a feeling of unease. Bad real estate agents tend to emit the following qualities.
- They’re excessively pushy
- They lack local knowledge
- They’re disorganized
- They have bad success rates
If you notice any signs that may indicate any of the above, find a different real estate agent. Working with a bad agent is more frustrating and stressful than working alone and will not make the home buying or selling process any easier.
How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
Now that you know how to differentiate between a good real estate agent and a bad real estate agent, it’s time to start the process of choosing one that works for you. Not all good agents will be a good match for your needs, so don’t be afraid to “interview” a few before moving forward. Don’t worry, agents are used to this!
Always Check Credentials
First and foremost, always ask for credentials and double check them. There are major differences between an agent and a realtor and almost all of them include their credentials and overall qualifications. Don’t feel bad asking for credentials. Any good real estate agent understands why this is important and will gladly provide you with what you’re looking for.
Ask for Referrals
If your friends or family members have used a real estate agent in recent years, ask them about their experience. Getting referrals from people you know and trust will help you feel at ease with your decision. You’ll be able to get insight from the entire process rather than having a one-sided opinion.
Do Your Research
Research the company and any agents that you’re interested in. Be thorough and try to get any questions you may have answered before meeting with them. The Internet is a great resource, so use it! Both small and large companies have their distinctive differences; it primarily depends on what you’re looking for in an agent. Finding a company with values that align to your own will help you create a good relationship with your real estate agent.
Have a Consultation
Before committing to a specific real estate agent or company, ask for a consultation. Meet them in person and see how it feels. You’re going to spend a lot of time with this person, so if there’s no chemistry then it could cause more stress than buying or selling on your own. Consider their mannerisms, how they communicate, and whether or not you get along well. More often than not, real estate agents will be looking for a client they have chemistry with too, so take some time to get to know each other before you hire an agent.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions
During your consultation, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are so many factors that affect buying and selling a home and you need to be prepared for everything. Don’t be surprised if your prospective real estate agent starts asking you questions as well; remember, it’s a symbiotic relationship.
Consider the following questions and take note of how they answer. If something bothers you, be honest with them from the beginning. Questions will bring clarity to the relationship before it starts, which is a great way to determine if you and your real estate agent will get along.
- Ask about their experience. Do they know the local market? What listings have recently sold in the area you’re looking at? What are the current prices in your desired locations or markets? Look for answers backed by data and market research.
- Ask about their references. Do they have a list of references available? Can you contact them? Some people feel weird asking about references, but this is a great way to get a glimpse into the relationship from someone in your perspective.
- Ask about their marketing plans. What are they going to do to find you a property you love or sell your current home? Do they have a plan? Have they seen success with this plan in the past?
- Ask about communication strategies. How do they plan to keep you informed during the process of buying or selling a home? Are they more relaxed in communication style through texting or would they prefer to stick to emails and phone calls?
- Ask about their commission. There is a standard commission rate of about 6%, but it can fluctuate based on the agent. Ask about the commission ahead of time so you know what to expect and can prepare for any negotiations.
- Ask about their connections and their network. Are they well connected in the community? Do they have strong connections that could be beneficial when buying or selling a home?
If you’re in need of a real estate agent who is going to put your needs first and give you the best service possible, First Star Realty is here. We’re committed to providing five star realtor services to Northwest Arkansas and work with you throughout the entire buying or selling process so that you have the piece of mind you need during such a life-changing experience. Our clients always come first, which is why we only measure achievements through client satisfaction. If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact us today. Our team of highly seasoned real estate professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service to all of our clients. Call us today at 479-267-1600 or fill out a contact form on our website.