Top 10 Things to look for in a realtor
Selling or buying a home could easily be related to a yet another business transaction. However, most often sellers or buyers tend to make impulsive decisions that cost them money, energy, effort and time. Choosing a knowledgeable Realtor to partner with can prevent most of these mistakes. Choosing the right realtor to market your property or negotiate the sale is the most important part of the process. We’ve compiled a list of the most important things to consider and look for while choosing a real estate agent:
- Talk with previous clients of the realtor
One wise thing to do when visiting a realtor is to ask for a list of contracts they have dealt with in the past. By knowing and talking to previous clients, you will get to know their style, how they negotiated on behalf of the Client, and how accessible they were, etc. Learning more about past Client experiences will ensure that you’ve found a Realtor you will work well with.
- Choose a winner
In the world of real estate, competition is tough. Hence, without a doubt, peer-given awards are of high significance. Out of these awards, one of the most prestigious is ‘the realtor of the year.’ This is given by the state or local branch of NAR. As judged by peer, these are the finest realtor agents and they are highly recommended.
- Go for an agent that sells your type of property
For example, if you’re looking for a condo in Downtown Kansas City, you’ll want a Realtor who has experience and knowledge of each area (i.e. Crossoads vs Rivermarket, etc). If you are looking for an investment property, look for an agent who has knowledge of typical returns in each area, practical strategies to meet your investment goals, and which areas to look for and avoid. Realtors may have multiple expertise, but it is always good to choose one who is well-informed about the transaction type you are doing, and who will be open and honest about what they are, and are not comfortable with.
- Ask your realtor for CMA
Every realtor is able to show you the comparative market analysis (CMA) of your area. It is always good to ask for such analysis to have a good look at the listings of homes currently for sale or recently sold in your area. A good realtor will prepare an informative CMA with comparison details of similar homes in the market. It also includes specifications like prices, number of days on the market, and number of bedrooms. A CMA can give you the information you need if prepared in a well-organized manner by your realtor.
- Choose an agent with valid credentials
Just as engineers specialize, so do realty agents. Some designations to look for in the credentials of a realtor include CRS (Certified Residential Specialists), ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representatives) and SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialists).
- Your agent should know your locality
Location awareness is probably the most important trait of a realtor. A good agent knows your area and the properties available in and around it. Mention a spot or a property and the realtor should be ready with its details (i.e. typical sales prices, days on market, current inventory, etc).
- All realtors have passed the entrance exams, so they must know the same thing-right? Wrong!
As one assumes, it is not such the case that every realtor knows the same thing. The thing that separates them is their experience and knack of gaining more and more knowledge about real estate. The best realtors stay abreast of changes in real estate market. Also, some go beyond just ordinary education to enhance their education and training. At the end of the day, book knowledge only accounts for a portion of a Realtor’s qualifications , experience also plays a huge part.
- Asking for the future prospects of the area
Is this area growing or declining? When it comes to recognizing the growth and decline trends in real estate market, good agents are on the front line. They will analyze the future prospects of your property and will be able to advice you on the same. Some areas have the potential to get transformed from a swamp into bustling commercial area, while some cam turn into a foreclosure city from a highly desired neighborhood. Whatever the case may be, your realtor should know the scenario and should be able to give you a clear picture over it.
- Avoid part time real estate agents
Whether you are looking to buy or sell, you need to choose a realtor who is in the business as his primary occupation. There are lots of agents who do real estate as a side business. Part time Agents are not active in their market on a regular basis. You should look for an agent who is up to date on new listings and will be able to bring them to you immediately.
- Mind the commission
In most of areas, including Kansas City, the commission is 5-7 percent on average. This commission is split between the selling and the buying agent, and their Brokers. Be leery of “discount Brokers” who often cut corners, or offer a lesser service in order to provide cheaper services. Real estate is no different in that you often get what you pay for.
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