How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate
by Amy Lignor
You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to sell your present homestead in order to get the money needed to start paying on a new one. And, of course, you not only need an agent who’s honest and fair with you in order to get both facets of this deal done, but you also need one who wants to get you the best deal on the best house in the best neighborhood so your kids can go to a good school, feel safe, and even, perhaps, save money. (Jeez…don’t want much, do you?)
All kidding aside, this can be done. There are plenty of real estate agents out there in the world that do think about you and your family. Of course they care about their commission. After all, the real estate agent, just like your family members, has a job to do and they need to make their own money and pay their own bills. However, there are those out there who have built not only stellar careers but also have earned the respect of the entire real estate community. So…how do you get one of these winners to be your real estate agent?
Whether buying or selling a home, or both, you are talking about an extreme and stressful adventure, which means knowing that you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to help is the first thing to know. Although many out there believe they can put up that ‘For Sale by Owner’ sign and cut out the middle man in order to pocket all the cash, they do not usually have any idea the spider web of issues and problems they will be walking into.
The market, for one, continues to pick up steam. Projections of higher mortgage interest rates and home prices are being reported, which means you need to know what to ask the agent before hiring them in order to ensure that you are getting the best candidate for your home, family and future.
We start with experience. This is absolutely the number one piece of data you need to know. Experience can’t always guarantee skill; however, most agents with years of experience have garnered the great reviews and can show you a high success rate. Learn up front if they are full-time or part-time agents, how many homes they sold in the past twelve months, how many sellers they are currently representing and what designations/certifications they have in regards to education and industry training. You need to make sure that this is a licensed agent with the right credentials. Therefore, also inquire if they are members of the National Association of Realtors. Simply put, if they are that means they have agreed to abide by a solid code of ethics.
If the answers, education and background all work for you, then move on to step two. You want to know exactly what their marketing plan is for selling your home on today’s market. This involves both online and offline marketing, which means you want to know their personal approach. Do they use professional photographers for online shots? Do they stage the home and they shoot video to add to the website? What marketing materials will they create, and will your home be listed on multiple websites? Great photos and staging make a strong first impression and allows your home to stand out from the online crowd. But just be absolutely clear that there is an aggressive marketing plan in place before hiring said agent.
Lastly, just as it is with any other job resume or interview, make sure you approach this deal by placing yourself in the CEO’s chair, so to speak. Make sure to request data on any service providers they know and work with on a daily basis. Make sure this agent is well connected within the industry. Maybe they have specific lenders they work with and can possibly assist you in choosing everything from a mortgage company to a home inspector to a handyman to fix things up. Make sure you know how much work this agent will do that can help relieve your stress during the buying and/or selling process.
And as all CEO’s end meetings, make sure to get references they can provide. Reviews and testimonials from their recent clients are necessary to make sure you can trust your agent implicitly. After all, the twins are on their way. You need to make sure the real estate agent you hire is the absolute best he or she can be, and has not only the experience, but also the hard work gene, education and contacts that will allow them to present you with nothing less than a complete success.
Source: Baret News