Finding a good real estate agent is paramount. You want someone who knows the area, understands the market conditions and will work to find the perfect house for your or your family.
To get stared, you’ll want to run an internet search to get a list of realtors in your area. For example, you might search Charlottesville, VA realty firm to get a good list of local realtors. Once you’ve got a handle on your choices, you’ll want to interview a few realtors to make sure you find the right fit. Here are a few things to look for in a realtor:
1) Full Time Agent
You probably have a friend, or a friend of a friend, who dabbles in real estate. There are plenty of people that sell homes as a side business, but they aren’t always the best choice. The best realtors are those working in your market day in and day out. You want someone who is committed to the profession, not someone who is in real estate as a side gig.
2) Get a Tech-Savvy agent
While the housing market is still recovering from the economic downturn, in some areas, homes are selling quickly. Most home sales start online, so you’ll need a tech-savvy realtor that can spot your dream home and let you know about it ASAP. You don’t want to lose your top pick because your realtor isn’t keeping an eye on the right sites. A realtor’s technology skills shouldn’t end with website knowledge. As the buyer, if you work best through text message or email, you want a realtor that does the same. Communication will be key, especially in areas where homes are selling fast.
3) Investigate your agent
When you’re interviewing agents, and you should interview several, ask for references. You’ll want to speak with past and present clients to get a feel for how the realtor works. Google the realtor’s name and make sure they’re not associated with any bad press or incidents. You should also review the realtor’s multiple listing service (MLS). This is a list of all the sales the realtor has handled and when they occurred. Take a look at the list and see if the realtor is selling homes in your price range. Has the realtor had active sales throughout the year or is there a gap in sales? If the home prices are out of your price range and the realtor hasn’t sold a home for the past six months, it’s a red flag. Look for another realtor.
4) Real Estate Firms
The benefit to working with a big real estate firm is the network of support behind each realtor. Companies like Century 21 and ReMax send their employees to training sessions to keep their realtors on top of the latest trends. That doesn’t mean you won’t get a highly qualified agent at a smaller shop, but it is something to consider.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Pither is an expert realtor and negotiator for buyers and sellers. When you need a Charlottesville, VA realty firm, make sure to check out the firm and go with the experts.