Why should you consider hiring a real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home? Finding the right real estate agent to work with requires you doing your homework, and it is a decision that could cost or save you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that the individual you choose will be handling the biggest financial investment decision of your life. Needless to say, you must choose wisely.
Your choice of Realtor® will greatly influence your home buying or selling experience. For better or for worse, this person will guide you every step of the way and will make a difference in the speed with which your house is sold, and how much it sells for. Don’t take this relationship lightly, you should consider interviewing a few Realtors® before you narrow down your choice.
Choosing the right agent boils down to two main items, competence and trust. Experience, interests, and competence vary from agent to agent and you should be asking very specific questions in order to find out their level of competence and how much they care for your financial needs.
Competence and Trust
Buying and selling a home is a complex process that can be very stressful and time-consuming. An experienced Realtor® has the knowledge, ability, skills, and connections to help you through the process every step of the way. Therefore, when you choose a real estate agent, the most important question that you should be asking yourself is: Does he/she have the necessary knowledge and skills to help me?
The second question that you you should ask yourself is: Do I trust him/her? Do you trust this person to do the things that he/she promised you? Do you trust this person enough to follow their advice. Do you trust him/her to put your interest above everything else? This is a very subjective matter and no-one can make this choice, but you.
Therefore, you will need to interview a few Realtors® and ask specific questions. If you don’t feel comfortable with their answers, move on to the next one. Consider the following questions when interviewing a Realtor® and pay attention to their answers.
How long have you been involved in real estate in this area?
If the agent is new to the business or if they haven’t been connected to the residential real estate market for several years, he/she will be out of touch with the cyclical nature of the real estate market. Your agent must be familiar with the current trends of the local market and have some insight into which way the market may change. This knowledge could be the difference between thousands of dollars in the long-run.
What is your professional experience?
A good Realtor® should be able to guide you through the steps of the home buying and selling process, and be able to explain exactly what to expect at every stage of the transaction. They must make you aware of your rights and responsibilities, work with you to strategize the best moves according to your own goals, discuss financing options, and point you in the direction of other specialized professionals who will aid you in different stages of the process.
A good Realtor® should know the pulse of the current real estate market in your area. They should have the resources and knowledge to establish the best listing price and determine the highest selling price. With access to their company’s professional marketing resources and connections, they will ensure that potential buyers are immediately made aware of your home, and market the property to sell as quickly as possible.
A good Realtor® will know the importance of a property’s first impression and how to drive-up the value through improving the curb appeal of the property. Your Realtor® will be able to offer you tips and information on how to get your home in the best selling shape possible, in order to sell your property quickly for the highest price.
Keep in mind, a Realtor® is trained to provide clients with information about the market, to help you make the best informed decision possible. The right Realtor® will guide you through the ups and downs of the market and keep you up-to-date with the types of changes to expect.
What is the current market trend?
A good Realtor® should be able to tell you the current trend of the market and if it is it a balanced market, a buyers market, or a sellers market. In terms of pricing, every market requires a different strategy. Realtors® are equipped to know the current market, and will suggest the best strategy to meet your goals. Furthermore, a good agent should have in hand a list of comparable properties to determine the selling price of a property. The Realtor® should be able to prepare a market analysis of the neighbourhood you’re interested in, so you can determine the value of your particular property. A market analysis will provide you with a market overview and will give you a glimpse at what other similar properties have been selling for in that area.
How are your negotiation Skills?
Realtors® serve many functions, but perhaps the most important role is negotiating on your behalf. This is where Realtors® earn their money. Almost anyone can put a lawn sign and hope and pray for someone to buy. If it was that easy there wouldn’t be a need for Realtors®. Your Realtor® knows that your goal is to sell your home as quickly as possible, for the best agreeable price. They will work closely with you during the negotiation process to get you the best price with the most favourable terms. Realtors® also bring the knowledge and skills to draw up legally binding contracts, to assist in negotiating offers and counter-offers, to guide and counsel you to achieve your goal.
The bottom line is the Realtor® that you choose must be competent knowledgable, skillful and have a high level of care for your real estate goals. The most important decision, however, depends on if you can trust them with all your real estate needs.
I hope you enjoyed my article about the benefits of working with a realtor. Please remember to visit my website www.jbenitez.ca where you will find other related articles and remember to like my Facebook page.
Joaquin Benitez is a licensed real estate agent and author of the book, The Foreclosure Phenomenon: How to Defend Your Home from an Impending Foreclosure, available at Amazon.com and chapters.indigo.ca