When you are ready to buy a home, you also have to ensure you have all the information on picking the best real estate agent. If you fail in choosing a great real estate agent, it will be a bumpy ride ahead. With the right realtor, the buying process will be less stressful, and you have a higher chance of finding the perfect house faster. If you are wondering how to go about selecting the best realtor among the local real estate agents, keep on reading.
1) Good rapport
House hunting can be unnerving, especially when everything available isn’t what you had in mind or is out of your budget range. A real estate agent you don’t get along with is only going to stress you even more. Thus, find an agent that you can relax and be yourself around. He or she should understand your needs and be fun to be around. If someone gives you bad vibes, you should go with your gut and drop them. House hunting will be less frustrating when you know your agents got your back and always finds ways to make the process easy for you. You can even establish a great professional relationship for the sake of future real estate projects.
2) A high rating and positive reviews
In the modern world, online reviews and ratings are one of the best ways to determine whether you should pick a particular company. Buying a house is a big deal, and you need to go through all the reviews the real estate agent you have your eye on has received. In case there are negative reviews, ensure you establish whether the customer was just frustrated about the home buying process or it was a complaint about the individual realtor. This means you won’t drop great real estate agents in the process because you didn’t take the time to dig deeper.
3) Knowledge of the local market
A foreigner will not have a good understanding of the local real estate market like someone who has been there for years. Many are unaware that there are actually agents that specialize in working with foreign clients. Thus, make sure you have picked an agent who knows the local market’s ins and outs. With this knowledge, it means they are aware of patterns as well as market trends, which will come in handy when you are trying to navigate the nuances of the home buying process in the area.
You can ask the agent questions about the market to see if they have the knowledge you’re looking for. They don’t have to be complex ones for that matter. Ask questions like what the average sale prices are, the average time it takes to sell newly listed homes, and what are the most up and coming neighborhoods. Also, inquire about different trends that can help you in making the best decisions. There are so many homes for sale in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, that you will feel lost in a sea of houses without the proper guidance from the top realtors.
4) Request references and contact them
Let the agent provide information on the homes they have recently listed and sold. Also, get the contact information of the clients they have worked with recently and follow up on that. However, the references aren’t just for your filing. It would be best if you asked pertinent questions to determine whether the real estate agent will be a good fit for you or not. Some of the things you have to ask about include the support the agent offered during the negotiations and in other areas. Ask whether the clients would consider working with the agent again and why. Remember that it is a considerable investment, and things like picking an agent can have a massive impact on the process. You don’t want to take any chances.
It isn’t just about how long the real estate agent has been in that line of work but also how experienced they are in the job. The life of a real estate agent can be chaotic. You need to know the average list-price to sale-price ratio. Ask about the average time it takes for their clients to find a home and the time it takes to close after making an offer. Another great question is how do they do their marketing? It would be best if you had an agent who can find you that perfect home fast so that you can move on to other things. Wasting time should not be tolerated. On the same note, you need an agent who is experienced in getting clients great deals. Otherwise, it will be one disappointment after another.
6) Communication skills
Anyone working in a field involving dealing and talking to people daily needs to have excellent communication skills. There is a lot of communication between the buyer and the seller. In most cases, that is handled by the agent. On the same note, the agent has to organize visits to open houses, inspections, and help you in negotiating a good deal. Given how delicate the process is, things can get out of hand at times, and if the agent is not an excellent communicator, you will be frustrated even more. Pick someone who knows how to mitigate the process if it gets out of hand and also who knows how to negotiate for a good deal.
The agent you pick should also communicate to you about the progress without having to be pushed or reminded all the time. On the same note, select an agent who will satisfactorily answer your questions. If they keep dodging your questions or giving you vague details, you may end up putting your signature on a deal that will come back to haunt you. It is better to spend a little bit of time searching for the perfect real estate agent rather than getting stuck with someone who isn’t a good fit.
7) Look for an agent with good tech skills
In today’s digital world, real estate agents should be very tech-savvy. Look for a real estate agent with a high-quality website with lots of local info about the Santa Rosa Beach and 30a area. This also will show off their local knowledge. But best of all, an agent with a good website will make it easy for you to search all of Santa Rosa Beaches’ condos and neighborhoods easily.
8) Answering the phone
It may sound like a simple task, but so many realtors don’t answer their phone. For some reason, realtors spend hundreds and thousands of dollars each month on marketing for buyers and sellers, and when their phone finally rings, that person gets the agent’s voicemail. Answering your phone calls also goes back to tip number 6, communication skills. It’s challenging to communicate well if your realtor won’t even answer your phone call.
9) Work with a full-time agent
Working with a full-time real estate agent shows that this isn’t just a hobby or a side job. You want someone that is going to be there for you every day. Also, full-time agents tend to have their finger on the pulse because the only thing they’re doing is helping people buy and sell real estate. Just because someone is a full-time realtor in Santa Rosa Beach doesn’t mean by itself that they will be an excellent agent, but it is one of the qualities.
10) Who do they work for?
Just like not all realtors are created equally, the same goes for brokerages. Do your research in regards to the pro’s and con’s of using a large brokerage compared to a small one. The last thing you want is to be caught working with an agent that does not have the backing of a reputable brokerage or doesn’t have the time you require. It doesn’t mean that these agents aren’t good, it might mean that their brokerage may not be up to par. If everything goes right in your transaction, it may not matter. Yet, if there’s a disagreement between the buyer and the seller, the broker may need to step in. If the broker is not great at his job, they could cost you the property or, even worse, a lawsuit.
This one has to do mainly with sellers that are looking for a listing agent. If you interview multiple agents, you will most likely find someone willing to cut their commission drastically, which should be a red flag for you. A listing agent has to pay for the marketing of your property out of their pocket. When an agent cuts their commission, they most likely will not be cutting their bottom line, but they will be minimizing the money allocated for your marketing. This will give you less exposure, which will most likely result in a less than a spectacular result.
12) Understand that you can fire your agent
You will only have to resort to this step if you don’t follow the first 11.
As long as you have taken the above tips to heart, the chances are that you will be working with a great agent. Although an agent may check off all of the “good agent” boxes in reality, they may just not be working out for you. If this is the case, you do have the option of firing the agent and looking for a better agent to help you buy or sell your house. Just make sure to review your listing agreement that you signed with the agent.
Patience is essential in your search for an excellent real estate agent. With the tips outlined in this article, we have no doubt you will find a real estate agent that you are compatible with.
Nevertheless, never settle if your gut is telling you otherwise. Above all, approach the home buying process with an open mind and have fun. It doesn’t happen every day, and you may as well have fun while at it.