Finding A Good Real Estate Agent or Broker is Critical When You Need To Buy Or Sell Real Estate! How do you go about finding someone with a solid background of experience and knowledge, who is honest and loyal, and who is patient enough to work with first-time homebuyers or seniors downsizing their household?
That’s a great question. It’s the MILLION DOLLAR question, in fact.
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 agent out there, how can you make an intelligent decision? Do you choose a friend, neighbor or coworker? Should you work with an agent at a large firm, a small firm, a franchise or an independent?
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.
First of all – Demand Experience in your Real Estate Agent or Broker!
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 investment you’ll ever buy or sell to someone without experience?
Always look for an agent with at least two years of experience. Anyone still in the business after two years has probably learned at least the fundamentals of real estate.
Look for Commitment in the Agent or Broker’s Background
Another problem we have in the industry is a large number of part time and recreational salespeople. These folks have either retired from some other career, work in real estate seasonally or are earning a second income for the family and honestly don’t need to work full time.
No matter how long they have been in real estate, their lack of full-time commitment makes it impossible for them to keep up with the vast changes in law, marketing and business practices that are occurring in the profession today.
If an agent isn’t working at least thirty hours a week, fifty weeks a year, look for someone else.
Consider The Continuing Education That The Agent or Broker Has Earned
In the majority of states, the requirements for real estate licensing are substantially less than those for cutting hair. In Michigan, for example, all that is required is a forty-hour class and a multiple choice test. You cannot rely on licensing to indicate competence. And, unfortunately, many agent’s real estate education ends with their pre-license education.
Conduct Interviews Before You Hire An Agent Or Broker To Help You Buy Or Sell A Home.
You should interview at least three agents in person. In order to do this, first get recommendations from friends, family and neighbors. Then look on the web, in homes magazines and the local newspaper to see what kind of marketing the various companies are doing in your area and call a few that impress you.
Then make brief fact-finding calls to determine which of the agents on your list are full time, experienced and have more than a few years experience and have more than 100 sales. You will probably need to call ten to fifteen agents in order to find three that are worth interviewing.
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 in meeting your needs.
The decision to hire an agent or broker:
If you follow the suggestions above, you will find that there are excellent agents working for firms both large and small; both franchised and independent. The real decision must be made based on the competency of the individual agent you will be working with on a day-to-day basis.
Once you’ve made your decision, give your agent enough information to get in sync with your preferences in searching, what type of property you’re look for, the areas you prefer, and even your schedule to preview properties.
Follow these tips and you should find yourself a good real estate agent or broker. Find that agent or broker, and they can help you save time and thousands of dollars in your search for a solid real estate purchase.