By Emma Sturgis
Buying or selling a home can be an extremely overwhelming process. You must know what to look for in your buying or selling agent to make sure they will be a good fit for you. Whether you're buying your first home, moving up the market or downsizing as retirement approaches, real estate agents can help navigate this important decision. Here are the characteristics an excellent real estate agent will have.
Before you sign the papers, find out what the agent knows. Are they willing to answer your questions? Will they be able to educate you on any tricky aspects of the real estate market in your area? The local knowledge of your agent can make all the difference. The agent should have contacts in the real estate market that they can refer you to, such as appraisers, mortgage lenders and insurance agents.
A good agent will treat you respectfully and keep your privacy in mind. They should not gossip about you or your business to others in the real estate industry. Are they honest and ethical? Do they know how to give you critical feedback without being overly pessimistic? Transparency helps build trust, which is necessary when working with a buying or selling agent.
Customer Service Skills
Plain and simple, good agents will treat you with respect, no matter how big or small your circumstances may be. The agents should be more than just a salesperson and should focus on building a relationship with you.
The agent needs to be able to sell real estate and have the expertise in negotiation and contracts. They should have education in the market and general areas of focus. Consider their previous homes for sale and their previous clients. If a previous client had an issue that dissuaded them from buying, don't accept that as a pattern to follow.
Relationships are built on communication. The right agent will keep you informed every step and ensure that everything is to your satisfaction. Communication is key to a successful transaction. You should agree on the modes of communication and the frequency of contact. You must know the individual behind the real estate agent; they are your advocate and will be representing you at all times.
Honesty and Integrity
You need to trust that the agent is being honest with you. You may expect them to tell you all the good news, but they must be honest with all aspects of the transaction. If they know something terrible is going to happen, they should tell you. Your relationship should not be built on secrets or deception; it should be based on trust and honesty.
There are many scenarios and facts to gather when choosing the right real estate agent for your needs. When you do your homework and research, you will find the best fit for you and your situation. Remember that this is an important decision; choose someone you can trust and with whom you build a strong relationship.
Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, Massachusetts. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2