Some of the property legwork can be accomplished on your own but when it comes time to seek the help and advice of a real estate professional, how would you choose between the multitudes that are available?
Referrals are always a great place to start but in the case of choosing a real estate agent it is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
What works for one may not work for another and you cannot be sure that your personality and an agents personality will mesh simply because your friend loved them.
And, when it comes to the emotional and monetary experience of real estate, you don’t want to have a personality conflict with your main advocate and/or any more anxiety and stress than is absolutely necessary!
When the time comes to make a decision there are some questions that you need to ask yourself as an article from Inman News suggests.
Here are some examples:
- How close do you want your real estate agent to live to your property?
- Do you want a single agent to handle your entire transaction or do you want a team approach where different specialists handle different aspects of the transaction?
- Do you prefer an agent who is a fast-moving, get-it-done type, or someone who can spend as much time as necessary answering your questions?
- How important is it to you to have someone who is a “neighborhood specialist”?
- How important is your agent’s experience level to you in terms of (a) years of experience vs. (b) number of transactions closed?
- How important is it that your agent is paperless?
Also discussed is considering how others who have dealt with a specific agent would rate the experience.
Not simply in terms of a one to five-star ranking because that provides little true added-value. The rating should be more encompassing and delve into multiple aspects of the client-broker relationship.
Once again from Inman News, these are some potential questions that need to be asked in order to make a referral or recommendation truly valuable:
1. Would you recommend this agent to your friends or family?
2. Did the agent provide you with a written guarantee of the services that they provide and if so, on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), how well did they deliver on what they promised?
3. If you were selling your home, did the agent provide you with a written marketing plan? If yes, which of these items did it include?
- Print advertising including brochures and marketing postcards?
- Newspaper advertising?
- Web marketing plan including a single-property website for the property?
- Listing syndication to major sites including their company website, their personal website, and major portals such as realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow?
- Social media marketing plan for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and/or Instagram?
- Video marketing plan including YouTube and video syndication?
- Global marketing plan to reach people who speak other languages?
4. If you were buying a home:
- Did your agent ask to have you pre-approved by a lender?
- Did the agent spend at least 20-30 minutes interviewing you about what is important in your next home?
- On a scale of 1-5, how well did the properties that your agent showed you fit the criteria you gave them, including the price and the location?
- On a scale of 1-5, how well did your agent explain the offer and the closing process to you adequately?
5. On a scale of 1-5 (5 being highest), rank your agent in each of these areas:
- Negotiation skills
- Problem-solving during the transaction
- Prompt response to my questions
- Knowledge of my area
- Integrity and trustworthiness
- Supportive, easy to work to with
- Willing to take responsibility when he or she made a mistake
- Closing the transaction. (Source)
This type of thought and consideration into the selection of the real estate agent to use and rely on is critical when making what will likely be one of the largest purchases or sale decisions of one’s financial life!
Do you have a broker you would recommend for a specific geographic location?
Leave their contact information and why you would recommend them in the comments section below but, for the consumers in the audience, remember that a good referral is only the beginning of the process!