Finding the best real estate agent
It is imperative to find a good real estate agent in order to make the transaction process smooth and hassle free. It is not necessary that the largest amount of brokerage fee would necessarily fetch you the best real estate agent. Rather, the best real estate agent would be an experienced professional who would understand your needs, maintain an ethical behavior throughout the transaction process and know the market well enough to help you get the best deal. Selection criteria is unique to the investor as it depends on the types of real estate being purchased and the location of the investment, however it is important that the investor is comfortable with the agent representing their interests. Once you have identified a list of qualified agents, the final and most important step would involve interviewing the agent. Similarly, you may also know that the agent is good through the questions asked by the agent, which can further qualify the agent. Selecting the first agent you meet is a mistake that many real estate investors make and its one that can easily be avoided.
One of the key reasons that a real estate agent stays in the business is because of referrals. Satisfied clients often refer these agents to their families, friends, co-workers and neighbors. Therefore you may ask your colleague or friend to suggest the name of a good agent whom they have worked with and been happy with the entire procedure. Customer satisfaction is one of the primary aspects to judge the quality of the agent. The greater the number of satisfied clients, the more successful and reputed an agent would be.
You may also take the help of the Internet to browse through a number of agents enlisted on different websites according to their reputation and success factors. However, there is no guarantee that whatever is stated in the websites is essentially true or complete. You may still try the reputed search engines and go through the individual profiles before selecting interviewing the agents you identify.
Attending open houses can be a good way to meet real estate agents. You may also collect their business cards and make notes on them about their ways and methods of selling and promoting properties.
Keep a track of your neighborhood signs and keep records of the day they are sold. The agent who sells the property in the shortest time would definitely be a better agent and may have enough connections to find you the right deal. Ultimately, it is the end results that actually matter.
Printed advertisements can also be one of the ways to find a good agent. Advertisements by these agents are aimed to serve the dual purpose of selling the property as well as promoting themselves. Check out the Sunday newspaper and contact some of them to find out more about them and their experiences.
Another way to find out the best agent can be through professional recommendations. In most cases, agents are happy to refer sellers and buyers to their friends and fellow associates, especially if the service required by you is not an area of their specialization. While some agents may deal only in residential resale, others may work only with new property builders. Experience is a valuable time saver and therefore important to most investors.
Finally, before hiring the agent you need to ask some essential questions, the answers to which can help you in making the final decision. Enquire about the time period the agent has spent in this business, the average ratio of sales price to list price, the marketing strategy that the agent would employ to meet your needs and the top three things that distinguishes the agent from the others in the market. You may also ask the agent to provide some references and whether you can have an attorney review the documents before you sign them. Do enquire about his fees and about the kinds of guarantee that he has to offer. Find out whether he can help you in finding other professionals like accountants and lawyers and finally ask him whether you missed out on anything that you need to know.
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