Buying or selling a home can be an overwhelming or complicated experience. Even buyers and sellers who have gone through a few homes often forget just how much work goes into a successful change of hands in real estate.
Consequently, hiring a real estate agent or Realtor is essential for a better home buying or selling experience.
Here’s how toidentify the right agent to work with:
- Consult with a mortgage lender first
If you’re a homebuyer, make sure you’re preapproved for a loan before you start shopping for agents. Having a preapproval letter on hand shows agents that you are past browsing and are serious about looking at homes.
The other great advantage of a preapproval letter is the clear limit it sets on the home you can afford. (Keep in mind that it is more prudent to shop for homes priced below the maximum amount stated on your preapproval letter.)
- Tap your network
Even if you personally don’t know a real estate agent, friends and family members who are also homeowners should. Ask for recommendations from the people who closely match your profile.
If you’re buying, think of someone who bought in the same price range or location you wish to target. If you’re selling, get referrals from someone who sold a similar home, preferably in the same neighborhood.
- Get to know their personal branding
Once you have compiled a list of potential real estate agents, check any official channels they maintain (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, website). You can gather useful information about agents from these platforms. Some details that come in handy are:
- How the agent markets listed properties
- The reach of their professional network
- Their market coverage (residential or commercial)
- The kind of clients they regularly work with
Meeting with at least three agents gives you a more rounded view of the real estate professionals in the area you’re interested in. It allows you the opportunity to evaluate agents based on their expertise and how well their personality or business style suits you.
Additionally, interviews give you a chance to evaluate how an agent might treat clients once a contract is signed. Look for thoroughly prepared and professional proposals. They indicate a real estate agent who will take your time seriously and will work hard to get results. A face-to-face meeting also allows you to check for chemistry and how comfortable you are dealing with the agent.
Follow up on any references a real estate agent provides during an interview. Call or correspond with previous clients and ask them to share their experience with the agent. How was the agent’s overall handling? What were the agent’s strengths? What could have been better? Would they consider working with the agent again? Why?
In addition to that, consider shortlisting agents who are also Realtors. Unlike regular real estate agents, Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors. This means they are required by law to adhere to a code of conduct that centers on negotiating deals to the best possible benefit of their clients.
The real estate agent or Realtor you finally hire should be knowledgeable and in tune with your values and goals. It is crucial that your professional relationship with them be built on trust and transparency. As your counsel during the buying or selling process, an agent needs to be honest about home’s value, provide solutions to problems, and effectively negotiate on your behalf.
At this stage, you have likely narrowed your choice to one candidate. The next phase is to draft a listing agreement to make your working relationship legally binding. To make sure that you’re both on the same page, finalize the following:
- Commission fee
- Length of commitment period for the listing
- Protection clause (especially in the event you decide to switch to another listing agent)
- Duties (what the agent is authorized to do as your proxy and other specifics you verbally agreed on)
There are many benefits to hiring a Realtor in New York with Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn real estate experience. We have the local knowledge to recommend the best homes for you. Call us,Alexander Meskouris Real Estate,at 917.741.4296 or email info(at)alexandermeskouris(dotted)com to get started.