What do I do when looking for a real estate agent?

Searching for a real estate agent can be tricky business. If you know what to look for, you could be saving yourself from trouble. In any industry, experience is almost always an asset, but it is of particular importance in the real estate industry. Ask your agent how many sales they close a year, how many years they’ve conducted business, and what kind of training was necessary. You have a right to know this and if your agent is a professional they should have no problem answering your questions. Further, there is no replacing good ol’ skill. You need to know your agent can perform his or her duties confidently and wisely. Does your agent have intimate awareness of technical aspects of contracts such as negotiations, inspections and appraisals? Most real estate agents have market knowledge of a specific area in which they generally operate business.

An agent who specializes in the west end of the city may not be helpful when selling on the east end. By knowing the community in which you are buying or selling, the agent will be aware of comparable prices, and of what has happened, what is currently happening, and what is going to happen in the area. Keep in mind your agent must work for you. They must have a proper work ethic and make an effort to work around your schedule, which includes evenings and weekends to show your home (this is when most buyers and sellers are available). They should always be easily contacted and not bogged down with other business. Remember, you are the priority! Find an agent with integrity. You cannot put a price on honesty. Buying or selling your home is too big of a deal to have a sleaze as an agent so make sure he or she is looking out for your best interests and not looking to make a quick buck. Lastly, resources are valuable assets in the business of real estate. Agents may have convenient website access to home listings and good relationships with mortgage brokers that could help you out. Any resource can be an advantage and will make you a buck or two!