Using the right Realtor can make a significant difference in the the amount you pay or receive when buying or selling a home, as well as in the efficiency of the entire transaction. However, you have to do a bit of homework for this.
Below are pointers to help you find a Realtor who can provide valuable help:
Pick a pro.
Realtor, broker and agent are three words that are typically used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be. First off, not all agents or brokers are Realtors. Realtors are real estate experts who are members of the National Association of Realtors, which follows very high ethical standards that are sometimes out of the coverage of state law.
Look for experience.
Whether you want a Realtor to help you purchase or sell a house, don’t just be part of learning curve. Among the first questions you should ask a prospective Realtor is how long they’ve had their license and how many years they’ve worked in the area.
Ask for recommendations.
Relatives, friends and colleagues can be good sources for referrals. Know as much as possible about their experience with the Realtor and whether or not they were satisfied with the results. Your local yellow pages can be a good place to look, or scour the World Wide Web for some leads. If you’re selling your home, look around for sold signs in your neighborhood.
Focus on local.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, choose a Realtor who knows the area well enough. Find out if they have sold or listed in the place of late. As a buyer, you should go with a Realtor who can provide important information about the community – for example, taxes, nearby vital establishments like hospitals and supermarkets, and the rest. If you’re a seller, your agent must be able to speak to potential buyers about the very same details.
Set and stay inside your range.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a buyer or a seller – you need a Realtor who focuseson your price range. So if you’re thinking of buying a house with a price of $250,000 to $300,000, consult your local paper’s real estate listings to find out which Realtors are in that particular range. If a Realtor usually works with pricier or less expensive homes, they may not have the right knowledge about available options that are within your own price range.
Look for personal chemistry.
Once you’ve prepared a shortlist of Realtors, make sure you go with someone whose personality suits yours. Whether as a buyer or a seller, you’ll be spending a significant amount of time with your Realtor, so you have to consider compatibility when making your final choice.
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