The housing market can be overwhelming and challenging to read and respond to correctly. In this market, it is vital to utilize a real estate professional to time the market right and make sure you are on the right track for purchasing or selling a residence. Having confidence that you have the right real estate working for you can be a challenge, here is what to look for when you are researching a real estate professional.
1. Find an Agent in the Desired Area
Each real estate market is unique, and within the market itself there are several nuances in specific communities. The best real estate agents in Beverly Hills will be different from the best in East Los Angeles. Even though they are in the same general geographic location, each agent knows their own community’s quirks better than an outside realtor. Taking note of who is listing the majority of houses in your neighborhood, along with who is most active in selling houses in your neighborhood will help you find the right agent in your area.
2. Interview Several Realtors in Your Target Location
Interviewing several realtors is necessary to determine which is the best fit for your needs. There are several questions that need to be answered, including how long they have been in the business, what sets them apart from other agents in the area, and what their marketing and negotiating strategy is. These questions will help you understand your agent’s preferred style and strategy, and help you determine who you believe will match your personality and needs best.
3. Ask for References and Contact Them
A real estate agent will likely provide references upon request. Before committing to an agent, make sure you follow up with the references provided. This is especially important if it’s an online real estate agent you’re considering. Ask pertinent questions, such as what they liked and what they did not like about their experience with their agent. Also ask how recently their transaction took place, if it has been longer than six months, perhaps your agent is not as active in the market as they have portrayed.
4. Call a Local Lender
Local lenders are incredibly knowledgeable regarding active agents in the area. Asking lenders who they prefer to work with and why can offer up additional information regarding an agent’s personality and work ethic. Ultimately, agents, managers, and lenders work closely to close each house sale, so a reputable lender will be able to give an honest assessment of the real estate agents you are considering.
5. Ask to See the Contract
Each company has a contract that a buyer or seller will sign to commit to their realtor. It is important to know how long a contract is valid, traditionally a real estate contract is good for six months or less. A contract will also specify what percent commission your real estate agent will be receiving, and industry-standard is three percent each to the buying and selling agent. Reviewing a contract ahead of time will ensure no surprises spring up after you have done the work to determine who you want to work with you to meet your real estate needs.
6. Trust Your Instincts
Ultimately, you know the types of people that you work with best. After doing all of the legwork previously mentioned, it is important to trust your instincts when determining which agent you prefer to work with as you complete your real estate transactions.