Hiring the Right Realtor®: 10 Tips for Happy Home-buying
Before the onset of Internet real estate marketing, I crafted a marketing postcard titled, “Hiring the Right Realtor® makes a world of difference.” I used that card for years and it has been copied by local agents more times than I can count! I have actually received my own postcard (verbatim with another agent's name) at my own home on numerous occasions! My husband always gets a kick out of them and enjoys my reaction when he hands me one that he discovered in the mail or in an online agent’s ad.
Why has this been copied so often? Because hiring the right Realtor® really DOES make a difference! It not only matters to sellers but, to Charlotte home buyers as well. It can be quite challenging to find the right Realtor® to lead you into and through the world of real estate, regardless of whether you're looking to buy or sell.
Now, let’s talk about home-buying - here are some home-buying tips that will get you through the process and I hope, will result in living happily ever-after in your new home.
- Get a Referral
Reach out to your network of family & friends - ASK who had great experiences with their real estate agents. Asking someone you know and trust for a referral, is a great way to shorten the research process. Call each of the agents and have a conversation with them or plan to meet them for an interview.
Before choosing an agent, you are going to most definitely do some background research. Google the name of the Realtors® you are considering, check the Real Estate Commission for to see if there are any violations recorded on the agents. If they make claims to have specific designations, do the research online. (For example, CRS designees are highly credentialed and all CRS designees can be found here.)
Ask for References
When we were searching for a new home, consider phoning past clients of the agent you are considering. They'll also be able to tell you about how the agent did in negotiations. I have given lists to potential buyers and sellers (with permission of my former clients, of course) and some of the questions that have been asked were:
- How was she to work with?
- How did she communicate?
- How responsive was she?
- How did she do, negotiating for you?
- Did she keep you informed during the process?
- How familiar was she with the area?
- Did you find her vendor recommendations sound?
Nobody knows an area like its residents do - especially residents who have lived in the area for decades! Not to mention, an in-town Realtor® may have a distinct advantage when it comes to being aware of listings that are soon to come on the market. If your agent doesn’t know where to get the best piece of pizza pie in the area that you’re interested, they don’t know the area!
Does He/She LISTEN?
This character trait is EASILY evaluated with a phone conversation! Make absolutely certain, right from the outset, that you've found someone who will listen to you - what you want (and don't want), what you need in a new home.
Listening is a skill that not everyone has. Some prefer to direct YOU and oftentimes that can be in their best interest. This home-buying process is all about YOU. Is the agent asking questions and when they do, are they actually listening to your responses?
Are You a Match?
It's important to make sure that you and your agent get along! It may sound a bit ridiculous but, you’ll be surprised at how many hours and weeks or months you’ll be spending together. Being sure that you are both on the same page with regards to your home purchase, is critical. Having a little fun along the way also helps!
Honesty IS the Best Policy
Make sure your agent is working for you and not pushing you towards homes that don’t fit YOU. Having someone in your corner yet, someone who isn’t afraid to tell you when you are being unrealistic or asking for the moon, is critical to your home buying success.
What's Your Time-line?
Does your agent really understand your time-line? Whether finding a new home right away is critical to you or you're simply in no rush at all, be confident that your Realtor® understands and appreciates your approach. If you are not ready to buy, you certainly don't want someone pushing you.
Negotiation Skills MATTER
If you're a buyer, your agent is paid by the sellers' brokerage—not by you*—so a higher sales price does mean a higher commission for your Realtor®. Granted, the amount of commission can be quite small for smaller increments in sales prices but, it’s still important to look for a Realtor® who is willing to negotiate on your behalf. *This is not always the case but, in our area, is about 95% of the time. Your agent will share terms with you when reviewing your Buyer Agency Agreement.
Don't Be Afraid to Fire Your Agent
If your agent is not attentive to your needs, why stay with them? Would you tolerate poor customer service from any other service or business? Real estate is highly customer-service-centric and if you’re not thrilled with the service you are receiving, you’re likely with the wrong agent.
Visit www.iCharlotteHomes.com for more homebuying tips. Your first step should be enlisting an experienced, local real estate broker. Selecting a great broker is not as easy as it may seem. There are real estate agents and brokers who will sell you anything but, you want to enlist a seasoned real estate professional for your real estate needs. I would love to share my knowledge of the Charlotte area with you...and guide you seamlessly through the homebuying process.
**Visit www.CharlotteRealEstateAgentReviews.com to read client testimonials.
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Hiring the Right Realtor®: 10 Tips for Happy Homebuying