The Spring 2014 Home Buying Season is coming soon. Here’s a follow-up to my previous blog on How to Chose A Good Real Estate Agent. Choosing the right real estate agent will make your home buying experience a whole lot easier. Not all home buyers are alike nor do they look for the exact same things in a new home or in a relationship. Here are some factors to consider when looking for a real estate agent to assist you in your home buying process:
1. Check for Recommendations – There’s no limit to the amount of information you can get on the internet and referrals from past clients is one of them. Friends and family are a good resource for the name of an agent, but testimonials to the level of service they provided to previous buyers is what really counts.
All agents have a link to their listings. However the absence of a broader on-line presence might indicate a lack of experience or the savvy to keep abreast with the dynamics of the marketplace.
2. Look up Licensing – State and regional Boards of Realtors control the licensing, education and disciplining of local agents. Check with these supervisory agencies to verify that your agent is licensed and if he has ever encountered any problems in the past.
3. Make sure your agent has a solid online presence – Statistics show that 85% of all home buyers claim to have seen their house online before contacting any agent for a showing. A real estate agent that is up-to-date with the tech-side of the home buying process may not be the best choice for Millennials looking for their First Home. Most of my clients prefer emailing and texting rather than spending a lot of phone time with me. A savvy agent should be connected at all times too.
4. First Home Buyers, Bet on Experience –A good track record and solid industry and local market knowledge are key, especially First Home Buyers that aren’t familiar with the entire process and don’t know what to look for.
5. Look for Buyer’s Agent – A Buyer’s Agent works exclusively for the home buyer and usually gets paid by splitting the commission on the sale of the house with the listing agent. I’m not saying that a dual agent is a bad choice. What I am saying is that it is important to understand which party in the transaction your agent has a contractual obligation to represent as it has an effect on the negotiating process.
6. Where To Meet – My mantra is “When You Work With a Professional, You Get Professional Results.” I meet my clients where they feel most comfortable. In my office, their home, or at MacDonald’s. The best agents I work with do the same. A good agent should be available on your terms and be willing to accommodate your busy schedule and comfort level.
7. Look for a Local Agent – A local real estate agent might have a better sense of what’s going on in town. He’ll have the experience to know how to handle clients and would already have sufficient connections in the area to join your home buying team.
8. Is He a Full-Time Agent – This might be important to know when you have a question about the process that he’ll be available to negotiate your contract or if a snag arises with the property. I’m not suggesting that a part-time agent is less professional, but he is working for you and you should know what level of commitment you can expect.
9. Meet Several Agents – The one that can convince you without doubt that he should be your top choice is the one you should get! Besides market knowledge, you need your agent to be persuasive; if he can’t convince you to hire him, how can you expect him to convince a seller to give you a better price?
10. Is the Chemistry Right? – it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable working with as you navigate the many steps of the home-buying process. Your agent should respect and understand your individual needs as a buyer, and be able to provide you with the level of attention and care that gives you confidence in your home buying experience.
Your real estate agent is the backbone of your home-buying team. From beginning to end, it is the real estate agent who will help you to select, negotiate, and legally purchase your new home, The right agent should be able provide you with a level of attention and care that gives you confidence in your home buying experience.