Real estate transactions are the largest deal that the average person makes in their lifetime. So it is crucial to find a real estate agent that is the right fit regardless of whether one buys or sells. At their best, these agents bring advantageous deals to the table and provide knowledge and support that makes for a smooth closing. At their worst, a realtor can badly misread the market, the intentions and potential of a buyer or seller across the table, or unnecessarily delay sales through incompetence or indifference.
What to look for in an agent
Different clients have different needs and expectations, so it is best to speak with a few agents before picking one. Factors that experts recommend considering before picking include:
- Pick an advocate: A friend may be a realtor, but be clear-eyed about their skillset for handling the job at hand. Your biggest deal should not be in the hands of someone learning on the job.
- Look at their priorities: Some agents may be stretched too thin or have many more substantial and more lucrative properties to show. Conversely, it is a red flag if they do not have at least a couple of clients they are actively working with.
- Use someone local: Those with ties to the community can be a tremendous asset in understanding the market. They can look at sales data for the neighborhood, but also identify emerging trends that can help with deal-making.
- Loyalty is vital: This should take precedence over their bottom line. Speaking with past clients will be a good indicator of the agent’s loyalty.
- Look for longevity: Ask how long they have been an agent. Veterans can provide invaluable experience, but newer agents can be active go-getters if they have an established mentor checking their work.
- Do independent research: Keep tabs on sales of similar properties and even ask the agent’s opinion on the deal.
- Make sure they listen: It is the client’s responsibility to voice their needs, and the agent should listen to those needs and act accordingly. There is trouble if they continually try to undercut established pricing decisions or try to sell the client a property outside their price range.
Legal guidance also necessary
Agents are a vital part of facilitating a fair deal, but it will also be essential to bring in a real estate attorney. These legal professionals can help with issues. These include looking at the title, removing a lien and addressing foreseeable and unexpected problems that arise at or before the closing.