Purchasing a new home or putting one on the market takes some serious prep… and you need an ally to direct you during it all. That’s where a good real estate agent can make a world of difference.
Characteristics of a Good Real Estate Agent
Real estate agent vs Realtor®
Real estate agent vs Realtor. Are they the same thing? Not really.
A real estate agent is anyone who has a license to sell and buy property: typically about a hundred hours of schooling and then passing a state exam
A Realtor is an agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. They must abide by a detailed code of ethics, promising to treat clients honestly and fairly. It’s like added insurance that they’re committed to YOUR best interest.
This should be real estate 101…but there are a lot of agents who are really bad at returning calls and texts…or even just giving updates. One of the biggest frustrations for people is a lack of communication from their agent…and in a time-sensitive market like real estate, bad communication is not something you want to waste your time with.
You’re the one who should be doing most of the talking and making sure that your agent understands your needs, wants and requests. A good agent should be asking most of the questions… not the other way around.
Makes sure this is their full time gig. This ensures they’re available when you and any potential buyers are. You don’t want to wait for your agent to get off their shift at a Starbucks before they can respond to an offer on your house or show you a home that is just perfect for your family.
“Run Away!” Signs
If the agent suggests an extremely high price for your house. Pricing a home too high at the start often means it takes longer to sell and if it sits on the market for too long, buyers will start assuming something’s wrong with it.
Commissions are traditionally 5 to 7 percent, split between the buying and selling agent. If the commission on your house is lower, there’s a good chances that fewer agents will show it.
“Technology? Not my thing.”
If an agent dismisses technology, it a sign that he or she is WAY out of touch with today’s marketplace and is likely lacking key skills to sell your home. Agents have to use technology today: from marketing to using the MLS and making your home’s info and photos available on smartphones.
“Open houses don’t really matter that much.”
Selling a home takes a blend of technology, interpersonal skills and business know-how. If an agent never wants to host an open house, they might be lazy, overworked or simply not good in the art of open houses. On the other hand…be careful of an agent that only wants to do open houses. They are best done when a house hits the market to generate buzz, but doing it often after that….sort makes you look desperate.
The Bottom Line
Get an agent you trust and trust your first impression. The first meeting should feel like a counseling session, where they’re asking you most questions. The whole relationship should really be a conversation. If you get an agent that you connect with and respect… chances are things will go great. If they do? Make sure to tell your friends about them.
Next week we’ll chat about staging tips to help attract buyers.