Using the right Realtor can make a significant difference in the the amount you pay or receive when buying or selling a home, as well as in the efficiency of the entire transaction. However, you have to do a bit of homework for this.
Below are pointers to help you find a Realtor who can provide valuable help:
Choose a professional.
Realtor, broker and agent are three words that are typically used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be. First off, not all agents or brokers are Realtors. Only real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors are Realtors, and as such, they are bound by very strict ethical standards that may be beyond the scope of state law.
Look for experience.
Whether you want a Realtor to help you purchase or sell a house, don’t just be part of learning curve. One of the initial questions you must ask a potential Realtor is how much experience they have in the area and how long they’ve been licensed as a Realtor.
Get personal referrals.
Relatives, friends and colleagues can be good sources for referrals. Ask for as much information as you can get regarding their experience with the Realtor and whether or not they are happy to recommend them to you. Check the local yellow pages or search the web for options and leads. If you’re hiring a Realtor to sell your house, drive around your area and look for sold signs.
Focus on local.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, choose a Realtor who knows the area well enough. Ask your prospects if they have sold or listed in the place recently. If you’re a buyer, a Realtor must be able to give you vital information on the community, such as taxes, proximity to schools and hospitals, and so on. As a seller, your agent should be able to talk to prospective buyers about such details.
Define and stay in your range.
It’s immaterial whether you’re buying or selling a house – you want a Realtor who will concentrate on your price range. So if you’re thinking of buying a house with a price of $250,000 to $300,000, consult your local paper’s real estate listings to find out which Realtors are in that particular range. Otherwise, the Realtor not be able to provide all the available options for your own price range.
Look for personal chemistry.
After coming up with a shortlist of Realtors, look for the one who seems to jive best with your personality. Whether as a buyer or a seller, you’ll be spending a significant amount of time with your Realtor, so you have to consider compatibility when making your final choice.
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