Finding A Realtor Who Best Suits You
There are knowledgeable consumers out there, with a wealth of experience in buying real estate. They know and understand what to look for when selecting a property and what questions to ask to clear up any possible issues. Such an independent person is also an excellent negotiator, who can remove their emotions from the process of buying a home and get a great result, which both the buyer and seller are happy with.
However, there are many more people that need assistance when making a property purchase decision. They need to bring in an expert – a realtor. In our small Saskatchewan city of 6500 people, there are over 20 real estate agents advertising in the Humboldt Journal newspaper this week alone. They advertise, because it works. Numerous people make their real estate agent choice by having a look at a particular realtor’s photo and listings and see if you “like” them. This is a pretty unqualified way to make a very important choice, but common none the less.
Another trusted selection method is by asking friends for a referral suggestion. This can be really effective when making many purchase or service decisions in day to day life. It may work well, assuming your friends had a good experience and that your situation is similar. However, the value of your home and the long term nature of this investment makes “shopping for a real estate agent” worth more consideration. This is likely one of the biggest financial decisions of your life and truly requires the best experts available. So, start with a referral and then do your homework to identify which realtor matches your needs best.
Shelley O’Hara, author of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying & Selling a Home,’ says, “When you announce your desire to purchase a house, you may be surprised at the number of real estate people who want to represent you. Agents come out of the woodwork. You won’t have to worry too much about finding an agent — you do need to worry about finding a good one.” So, how do you find a good one? “If you select a franchised broker, you have the advantage of national name recognition and usually a strong national advertising campaign.” But beware. “You aren’t guaranteed a great agent just because you selected a well-known real estate franchise. You should select a firm based on that office’s reputation — not the reputation of the national firm.”
Narrow down your options by finding an agent that specializes in your market. An agent who focuses on high end executive homes may not be well suited for meeting your needs when seeking a starter home. Like any skilled salesperson, the agent should focus on your needs by listening to you, asking questions and then answering your inquiries about details you may not understand. The old sales cliche applies here – we were given 2 ears and 1 mouth – a salesperson should listen twice as much as they talk.
A real estate agent who is well connected in the marketplace will also be a great asset. This means they know all the other realtors and aren’t afraid to work with them and show competitor properties. Plus, they should be able to recommend home inspectors, tradespeople and other community resources. Taking the time to make a careful choice will help to ensure your new property is exactly what you want and need.