Friday, January 31, 2014

How to Tell a “Good” Real Estate Agent from a “Bad” One!

Finding the perfect home or selling your own is not the easiest thing that you will ever do. Although some people attempt to go it alone most realize that enlisting the services of a qualified realtor will make everything much easier. The question is what exactly is a good real estate agent and how do you find the right one for your needs?

There are a thousand answers to what makes an agent better than the rest. I believe that the first thing to look for in an agent is whether they listen to what you say, I mean really listen. It’s very important that your realtor fully understands what your needs and wants are and just as importantly, what they are not. That means that it’s also up to you to explain what is and is not acceptable to you. The more information that you provide to your real estate agent the better he/she will be able to help you achieve your goals. A well qualified realtor will know where to “fill in the blanks” and what (if any) additional questions to ask to be able to provide you with excellent service but it all begins with their ability to listen.

The next attribute that all good agents have is knowledge, and lots of it. The best of the best are completely familiar with the area that they work in and know it like the back of their hand. There is no substitute for experience. Your agent understands which areas are highly sought after and which are not. This is very important because real estate is and always will be about location. How can anyone help you find what it is you are looking for if they don’t know the area?  

The 3rd thing that a true real estate professional must possess is responsiveness. Simply stated a good agent will answer their phone and return emails quickly whenever possible. It’s understood that not every call or email can be answered immediately but an agent that is successful is an agent that is reachable. The more successful the agent, the more successful you will be when they are representing you and timely communications is vital in today’s real estate market.

A good agent does not waste your time. This means that a good agent is not showing you homes that are above your budget and if you are selling a home they don’t waste the time of interested buyers either. Showing the right home to the right people is the only way to get it sold, there are no shortcuts. An experienced agent is able to guide home seekers to exactly what it is that they are interested in. That means the right price in the right area, period. It all goes back to what I stated in the first paragraph, a good agent is a great listener.

That’s it in a nutshell. Top agents are good listeners, knowledgeable, responsive and efficient. It’s an unbeatable combination and whether you are searching for that dream home or selling your own a good agent will make the entire process as painless as possible.
So how do you find the perfect agent for you? It’s not as hard as you think. Ask friends and family who they recommend and if they haven’t had any recent dealings in the real estate market than all you need to do is place a phone call and start “interviewing”. Don’t be in a hurry. Ask questions and insist on an in-person meeting. Finding the right agent to assist you can make all of the difference so be patient. When you find a good listener you’re off to a great start!

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