Some Thoughts About Chosing the Right Real Estate Agent for You

Selling and buying a home is a highly emotional process, regardless of whether the transactionChoose-a-Realtor is smooth and short or arduous and lengthy. That, combined with being the most expensive and meaningful purchase the average person will make in their lifetime means you want to have the most qualified real estate professional representing you and your best interests. But the term “qualified” is objective and means different things to different people. Here is a handful of common types of real estate agents you may come across and a few things to consider regarding each one…

Your friend/family member that got their real estate license “for fun”

As long as they have kept up with their continuing education requirements, this isn’t your worst choice, but it could be. At first, it seems like a great idea. You already know and trust this person and what could be more fun than touring homes/reviewing showing data with a buddy that you can hit up happy hour with afterwards? Not too much, unless something happens along the way, regardless of fault, that puts you in a financially vicarious situation. It is highly recommended that if you chose this route, you have a very serious conversation in the beginning as far as expectations and create an amicable exit strategy to exercise at the very first sign of trouble. Don’t let a real estate deal that goes south take down an established relationship at the same time.

The Top Producer with double digit years of experience

Almost seems like a no brainer, right? Not always. Real estate professionals that have elite sales volumes are usually only able to do so because they have a team underneath them. That’s not a bad thing, but it may mean that you meet the person whose name is on all the real estate documents a few times throughout the transaction and you may bounce between assistants from time to time. The service may be impeccable, but if you prefer one-on-one interactions with focused attention, you may want to go in a different direction.

The Newbie

The pitfalls of working with a newly licensed agent are obvious, so instead I’m going to advocate that you give them the benefit of the doubt. Most real estate brokerages have mentoring programs for new agents, so any question you have that they don’t immediately have the answer to can still be answered with some patience. In this digital age of instant communication, it might not even take that much. After all, we all have to start somewhere, don’t we? Additionally, they aren’t going to have a long list of clients pulling them in every direction, so they’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to your transaction and will be grateful to you for the valuable learning experiences they gain along the way.

Flat Rate or Assist-to-Sell Agencies

Some of these real estate entities run a very sound business, but beware of the old cliché, “you get what you pay for.” And be sure to read the fine print! A quick internet search for dissatisfied customers of this approach to real estate yields more results than you could hope to read, but the majority of them include complaints about a lack of service or hidden fees. So, if you choose this route, be diligent in understanding how they are representing you from every angle and get any promises in writing.

In the end… it comes down to relationships. Every profession in existence has room for improvement and their share of “bad apples.” That said, the exact opposite is true. The most important aspects of your relationship with a real estate professional is that you feel comfortable in their abilities, you trust that your interests are their first priority and there is open and mutual communication. So, do your research, consult your friends and family, and by all means, ALWAYS give out referrals when you’ve had an experience that merits one. This is especially true when it comes to real estate because everyone wins. You look like a knowledgeable resource, the person you refer will appreciate receiving similar real estate services and the agent will keep your geniality in mind for the future.

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