Selling your home can be a big undertaking. Between legal documents, and dealing with the buyer or seller and their real estate agent, it’s important to have someone reliable to lead you through the process. To help you get started selecting a real estate agent, we’ve come up with a video detailing a few ways to make sure the agent you choose is the right fit for you. A bit of industry knowledge can do wonders in the ever-complicated Seattle real estate market. Here’s the inside scoop on what it takes to find the best agent for your unique and personal needs:
Pay Attention to Their Personality
As we mention in the video featured here, matching your personality to that of a potential agent is a key component in selecting someone you’re going to be comfortable working with. It’s important to remember that your agent will be your council on potentially life-changing financial matters. If you’re constantly in disagreement, you’ll be less likely to trust the agent’s knowledge and gut instinct. Long car rides and intimate tours of your potential homes are inevitable, so it’s best if the relationship is cordial at the very least.
Know Their History
You can tell a lot about an agent by taking a look at their experience and past work. Everything from the homes they sell to the reviews they receive online can give a glimpse into their reputation and their knowledge of local markets.
Certain certifications can shed light on an agent’s knowledge, skills, and abilities. A CRS, or Certified Residential Specialist, will have knowledge of residential real estate. Likewise, a SRES, or Seniors Real Estate Specialist, will have training centered on better serving the elderly. These credentials can help you identify an agent who specializes in areas that will best suit your individual needs. However, don’t let this extra training be the sole deciding factor in your decision to hire a Realtor®. To find an agent who truly suits your needs, ask them about their professional history.
Crucial questions to ask include:
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you have experience in representing clients on homes within my price range?
- Have you sold homes in the neighborhoods I’m interested in?
- What are the property values of the other homes in this neighborhood?
- How many other clients do you have?
- Will you have time to give me the help I need in relation to other clients?
In addition to asking agents these questions, do your own research. A simple Google search can often reveal recent sales the agent has been involved in, and even online reviews by past clients. Validating the information an agent gives you can help reassure they’re trustworthy.
Look for Red Flags
Sometimes, less than honest real estate agents will attempt to lead clients astray. Look for “red flags” before deciding to put your faith in someone. Often, common questions won’t reveal certain causes for concern. For instance, an agent may not disclose that they work in real estate part time. This isn’t an automatic disqualification, but someone who isn’t fully committed to the field is likely to have less than adequate knowledge of the housing market, and likely less time for their clients.
Also important to look out for is the listing price suggested by your agent. A high price may seem like a good thing, but often can be too good to be true. If a home is listed for a price above the market average, or the agent is leading you toward buying a home above market price, they may be attempting to increase their own compensation. Remember, real estate agents get paid in commission of sale, split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. The more money you spend, the more money they make.
A real estate agent can make or break the home buying and selling process. Take the time to find a trusted individual who fits your personality and specific housing needs. Your relationship with your real estate agent should be built on trust, so don’t hesitate to ask for the personal opinions of the agent’s former clients. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, consider giving us a call. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, and set up an initial meeting for you to get to know us.
If you found our video helpful, keep an eye out for more to come. Our goal is to give our customers insider tips on how to navigate the real estate market.