Finding the right Realtor® to help you with buying or selling a home can seem daunting. Your best friend’s sister’s cousin may be an agent referral but does that mean that they’re the right agent to fulfill your needs? Getting referrals from friends and family is great but sometimes those referrals don’t work out and can lead to strains in relationships. There are a few tips that you can follow to help find the right local Realtor® for you.
Your family doctor or kid’s teacher required education to do their jobs. A good agent requires specialized training and knowledge for their job as well. Agents may have acronyms after their name on the business card which can represent a few different specialties or areas of expertise:
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist) – trained to assist buyers ages 50 and older to buy and sell a home.
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – trained to help buyers in the home buying and selling markets
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) – trained to represent buyers in transactions
- GRI (Graduate, Realtor® Institute) – the National Association of Realtors® most comprehensive training on a broad range of subjects, including all the ones mentioned above
The right credentials will ensure that the agent has received proper training in the field to help you.
Experience and Referrals
A seasoned agent with an excellent track record is the type of agent that you would want to represent your sale. Someone who has been actively and successfully working in the local market for at least 5 years is a good suggestion. Also getting the detailed information on the agent’s experience and track record can be a key indicator to the type of success that you can expect. You can request a list of recent sales and client contact information from the agent to find out about past customer experiences. Finding out how long the properties were on the market is a great question to ask as well.
Passion For The Job
Finding an agent that loves what they do can make or break a sale. Their passion in the field and the reason for working in real estate can be a motivating factor to go above and beyond to help a client with the sale of their property. Ask your agent why they decided to enter this field to see if their values align with your own. If the agent is only concerned with walking away with money at the end of the day, then you know their love is not in what they do but the paycheck for their wallet.
One of the biggest things that anyone in the customer service industry can do is provide outstanding communication. This applies to buying home as well. The agent should communicate promptly whether it’s by phone, e-mail or mail. If a phone message is left with the agent, a return call should be expected within 24 hours or less. E-mails should receive the same turn-around time. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent how promptly they return communication requests to set expectations from the beginning. If the agent does not meet the expectations, don’t be afraid to discuss this with your agent and request improvements.
In line with communication, customer service is huge when it comes to buy a home. If you’re selling a property and your agent is having an open house, find out what they’re doing to prepare for it. Do they advertise? Do they give you tips to help stage the house properly? Anticipating the needs of the buyer and seller and being attuned to their individual situation can show the difference between just a mediocre agent and an outstanding agent.