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How to select your Real Estate Agent

Choosing A Real Estate Agent

There’s a common saying in the real estate industry regarding the vast number of agents in the business: “If you don’t have any friends who are agents, then you probably don’t have any friends at all.”

With so many agents out there, how can you make an intelligent decision? Do you choose a friend, neighbor or someone who was recommended? Should you work with an agent at a large firm, a small firm, a franchise or an independent firm?

While there’s an exception to every rule, and every marketplace has its own nuances, here are some solid rules to apply when you want the best representation to protect your interests.

Demand Experience

The real estate profession is plagued by high turnover. This creates a workforce that is made up of many newcomers. While there are brand new agents with good intentions, why trust one of the largest investments you’ll ever buy or sell to someone who lacks experience?

Always look for an agent with at least five years of experience. Anyone still in the business after five years most likely has learned the fundamentals of real estate.

Look for Commitment

Choose a Full Time agent. Should you decide to work with a part time or recreational salesperson keep in mind that these agents have either retired from another career, work in real estate seasonally and prefer not to work full- time. No matter how long they have been in real estate, their lack of full-time commitment makes it nearly impossible for them to keep up with the vast changes in law, marketing and business practices.

Consider Education

One cannot rely on licensing alone to indicate competence. Find an agent who has earned at least one or more Continuing Education designations such as, Graduate of Realtor’s Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), and/ or Real Estate Broker. If an agent commits their time to continue their education, it’s a reflection of their overall commitment to stay abreast of the ever changing real estate climate and providing you with the highest level of care.

Choose a Realtor

A real estate agent is a REALTOR® when he or she becomes a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®, the world’s largest professional association. The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abides by its strict Code of Ethics.

Conduct Interviews

Before you hire an agent to help you buy or sell a home, interview at least two agents in person. In order to do this, locate the area specialist, or get recommendations from family or friends.

Then make brief fact-finding calls to determine which of the agents on your list are full time, experienced and hold some type of higher education in their field. You may need to call five to ten agents in order to locate a few that are worth interviewing. If an agent does not return your call or email promptly, that is an important indicator of their responsiveness or lack thereof.

The interview itself need not be a formal one. It is simply an opportunity for you to meet the candidate and explain your needs; and to determine whether you would be comfortable working with them. Ask whatever questions you like, or simply explain your goals and listen carefully to what they propose to do for you. Be cautious of agents that place too much emphasis on their millions sold or awards. It is important to have a successful Track record. Be cautious of agents that place too much emphasis on their awards or millions.

Remember that this is about you and your needs, not their ultra ego. You want an agent that is responsive, listens to your needs, and will provide the attention to detail that is crucial to all successful real estate transactions.

The decision

Choose the salesperson you feel most comfortable with and remember to base your decision on the competency of the individual agent. You will be working on a day to day basis with your salesperson, not their particular office. If you follow the suggestions outlined, you should be successful in locating a Professional Realtor. A lasting relationship with your Realtor is one built on trust, mutual respect and loyalty. If you are loyal to them, they can provide you and your family with a lifetime of valuable service.