How to Choose a Real Estate Agent: 10 Factors to Consider
Before you buy or sell a home, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a real estate agent. A skilled real estate agent will map out a plan to help you achieve your goals within a suitable time frame. Here are ten factors to consider when you’re thinking about how to choose a real estate agent.
1. They Return Calls
Communication is important in every business relationship. A good real estate agent responds to your requests rather than keeping you waiting for answers. Emails, text messages, or phone calls, whichever is your preferred method of communication, should be returned promptly.
2. A Selling Agent Presents a Solid Marketing Plan
If an agent is going to sell your home, they must have a solid plan of the best way to do so. Open houses, online postings, or other forms of advertisements should be included in marketing discussions with your agent.
3. They’re Familiar with your Neighborhood
Local knowledge assists with pricing homes and providing support for purchase offers. For buyers moving to a new area, you’ll rely on your agent to steer you into neighborhoods that will be the best fit for you.
4. They Understand You
Nothing is more frustrating than asking to see newer homes around 3,000 square feet in size and then having your real estate agent show you 5,000-square-foot historical properties. Real estate agents need to understand what types of homes make your heart beat faster.
5. They Know How to Get Your Home Show-Ready
Does your house need staging or added curb appeal? Ask your potential agent for advice on getting your home ready to show. A good agent understands what buyers want and will offer tips on where your repair/replacement budget is best spent.
6. You’re Comfortable Asking Them to Represent You
To avoid micro-managing the buying or selling process, give your agent set parameters with regard to dealing with items like low-bid offers. When agents work with specific guidelines, they can better respond to inquire about your home and won’t need to contact you before returning calls to other agents.
7. They Use Technology Effectively
Technology is now part of everyday life and skilled real estate agents should leverage these advances to be more efficient and effective. Prior to stepping into the market, many buyers search for Philadelphia homes online. A strong agent knows how to reach these buyers and encourage them to look at your home.
8. They Understand the Law
Real estate agents aren’t lawyers, but they should demonstrate some basic knowledge of real estate regulations, especially those applicable in Pennsylvania. If you do have a legal question, real estate agents can also refer you to the right resources if they don’t know the answer.
9. You Trust Them
A home sale or purchase is a huge undertaking, and you need to trust the person you’re working with to accomplish this transaction. Real estate agents will handle your deposit money until closing and will also help you decide between offers that may be thousands of dollars apart in price.
10. You Understand How They Will Be Compensated
To some extent, real estate commissions are negotiable, but in the end you and your agent must agree on compensation. The agent will work hard to earn this commission, which is paid at the closing of the transaction.
If you’re still not sure how to choose a real estate agent, interview several potential candidates before making a final decision. Finding the appropriate person to guide you makes the buying or selling process less challenging and gives you a better chance of success.