How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

If you need the services of a real estate agent, you’ll obviously want the best. But with tons out there you can pick from, how can you tell who’s right for you?

Whether you intend to buy or sell a property, below are tips that will come useful:

1. Speak to references.

Ask your prospective agent for a list of what they’ve listed and sold within the last twelve months, with contact details. If you’ll be selling a property, ask them if the have sold similar properties to yours based on such important features as price, location and the rest. Definitely, you need a specialist in what you’re selling.

2. See to it that they are licensed.

Real estate agents need a license before they can practice their profession – legally, at least. Make sure you’re considering someone who has one. You can contact your state board for verification.

3. Go with an agent who possesses the right credentials.

Doctors and lawyers have specialties, and so do real estate agents. Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) are three of the most common designations today. An agent who refers to himself as a Realtor with a capital “R” is someone who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A Realtor is someone who has formally pledged to abide by the organization’s strict code of ethics.

4. Work with an experienced agent.

Know how long your potential agent has been working in the industry. You can simply ask the agent directly or verify with your state licensing board. You should consider prospects who have been in the industry for a minimum of five years. You don’t want them to be learning on you.

5. Take a look at current listings.

Spend time to check an agent’s online listings. Visit their website or search a realtor site’s online database for properties in the MLS. These days, people begin searching on the Internet, and you’ll want an agent who knows how to use this tool to provide the maximum benefit. You want to be able to tap that big market out there, or you’ll be losing a lot opportunities.

6. Inquire about other for-sale houses in the area.

A good agent is someone who knows about several properties within the area where you’re looking. Mention a house that has been recently sold or is still for sale. If the agent is able to provide a few details, that indicates that he’s quite familiar with the place.

Prior to deciding which agent to choose, you should have considered two or three prospects and compared them. After all, you can’t say that someone is the best for you without any point of reference.

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