Buying or selling? Here’s how to pick a good agent…
As with any profession, there are those that give their profession a good name and those that give their profession a bad name. This is obviously true with real estate agents. During the real estate boom, it seemed like everyone wanted to get into the action and unfortunately many did. There are countless stories of agents that ruined deals, artificially drove up prices and were in cahoots with mortgage brokers and appraisers. Unfortunately and for good reason, many find it hard to trust just any real estate agent or broker. The good news is that hard times have weeded out many of those that entered into the profession on a whim.
Now that some have started to wade back into the real estate market, how can they find an agent that is not only trustworthy but adept at their profession? Here are a few guidelines:
Interview the prospective agent – In all likelihood you are going to be spending a lot of time with this person. Whether or not you like their personality can be almost if not just as important as the agent’s experience. How desperate does it seem they want to get you into just any property? Will you feel pressured into seeing properties that are not within your price range? Do they seem to understand what your priorities are? Are they willing to show you properties that are not within their portfolio? How honest do they seem to be? If they mention any examples or anecdotes of when they were less than honest, chances are they will be less than honest with you just to get a deal done. Are they interested in developing a long term relationship with you? A good agent realizes that this may not be the last property you buy or sell. It’s to their advantage to build a long-term trusting relationship.
Do a little research – it’s amazing what a few clicks on the internet will reveal about an agent. Many agencies list their available properties on their web site. What types of properties does the prospective agent seem to handle? What types of properties have they sold? What seems to be their specialty? You may decide to select an agent that seems to handle the type of property you are looking for even if you are not interested in any of their current properties.
Ask your friends and family – Chances are one of your friends or family members has purchase or sold a property within the last 5 year or so. What did they think of their experience? Would they recommend their agent? Perhaps their agent would even be willing to recommend another agent that is more familiar with the area or type of property you are looking for.
These are just a few guidelines that should be considered when contemplating making a real estate transaction whether you will be buying or selling. Remember, often times your agent is your chief negotiator. Buying or selling real estate will most likely be the largest transactions of your life. For good reason then, you need to pick your agent carefully.