Real estate is a rapidly developing industry. If you are not an old hand at buying and selling a home, you may need a guide on how to find the right real estate agent.
Where do you start looking for an agent and how do you go about interviewing him?
We have put together the three most important questions to ask a real estate agent to help you find the best one for the job. These are important questions you need to ask each agent before hiring them, as well as some tips on where to find the most qualified agents in your zip code.
What is your relevant experience?
While you may have heard that it is important to find an agent with X years of experience or X many homes sold in the past year, there is a better way to find out if an agent is right for you. Ask about their experiences.
"Do you have experience with my type of buyer?" According to James McGrath, co-founder of real estate agent Yoreevo in NYC, this is the most important question that potential brokers should ask. "Every agent may do business, but if he usually works with retired couples, he may not go well with a first-time buyer," says McGrath.
"Investigate deeper and ask about the last two buyers (like you) they worked with," he added.
This is important because high sales and years of use can be largely irrelevant if the agent has not yet worked with a customer like you.
"Years of experience don't lead to experience deals," said McGrath. Buyers or sellers should ask potential agents about their past customers. You will quickly get an idea of how well they can meet your expectations.
How do you plan to market my house?
Chris Zuppa / The Penny Hoarder
If you are a seller in today's market, you should ask your agent how he advertises your listing. It's not just about advertising in the right channels, it's also about making your home look really good online.
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 90% of buyers search for real estate online – which makes a strong digital presence a must.
"A house that is being marketed today must resemble a magazine layout," said Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KPG. "The key is to find an agent who believes that the house is well presented in all the marketing they do."
This could mean finding an agent to work with stagers and photographers, and possibly even some marketing gurus. Since most agents offer marketing services at one level or another, focus on figuring out how their team works and use this information to measure their ability to make your home irresistible to buyers.
How do you deal with COVID-19?
It's not so much about the corona virus, it's about finding out how an agent is approaching the current market, which has changed dramatically since the pandemic started.
"A prudent agent who is looking for positive solutions is an advantage," says Realtor Al Wisnefske of the Land & Legacy Group. “Agents should now learn actively. If an agent is stuck in its "old way", that's not a good sign. Agents need to learn to adapt and constantly adapt to changing environments. "
Before hiring an agent, be sure to ask what he's doing to make it easier for customers to work. This can be as simple as hosting meetings via zoom or offering virtual staging services. You will learn that your agent is ready to learn new skills that he will need to help you buy or sell a home in the current climate.
How to find the right agent
After knowing the most important questions, here are some ideas to help you find the ideal agent.
Get a recommendation
Recommendations are undoubtedly the best (and easiest) way to find a real estate agent that will make you happy. Why? Because if they made your friends happy (and your situation is similar to theirs), they can probably help you too.
"Word of mouth is a good start," said Christopher Totaro of Warburg Realty. "When you receive a referral from someone who has worked with an agent, you have the opportunity to get a real view of that agent's performance."
You will also learn how to use marketing strategies and how to help customers navigate the pandemic if they are current enough.
That may sound too easy, and that's because it is. Just like your favorite restaurants, Yelp is a pretty good place to find out if people like to work with certain agents or not.
"The best way to find an agent is to ask friends for a referral," said John Gluch, founder of the Gluch Group. “The second best way is to search for Yelp. Yelp does an excellent job of ensuring that reviews are legitimate and that the recommended agents on Yelp really deserve them. "
The last word
Buying or selling a home is always stressful, but may never be more than during a global pandemic. Before contacting local real estate agents, take a minute to decide if now is the best time for your family to undergo this life-changing event.
While homes are still selling and buyers are still noting, the decision when to make this type of change depends on many factors, not just the current market. If you plan to buy a home, you should consider things like your credit rating and qualify for the mortgage you need. If you sell, ask your agent how saturated the market is and how you can make your listing competitive.
As always, take the time to review all of your options before getting involved – and don't be afraid to stay up to date if the timing doesn't feel right.
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