Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Posted by John Sabia on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 at 6:09pm.

Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Purchasing a new home is a tremendous undertaking, and one that should be done under the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable real estate agent. Mid-to-large size cities will have a heavy pool of agents, and it is important that you choose one who best fits your specific needs. The ideal candidate will have expertise in the community or neighborhood you have targeted. If you are also selling a property, be sure the Realtor handles both buying and selling, as it complicates things considerably to be dealing with multiple agents. There are several things you want to uncover through research, discussions with the potential Realtor and even a formal interview before making a decision to move forward. The most important qualities to look for are: Knowledge - does the agent know the market and can provide suggestions and guidance based on your desires and needs? When you say you want a fixer-upper near the business district with classic styling, the Realtor should be able to readily identify available matches. Sophistication - is the Realtor and/or her agency leading edge when it comes to technology, giving you immediate access to the most updated listings, and creating a high quality, engaging listing for the house you are selling? Responsiveness - are your inquiries, emails and phone calls answered in a timely manner? If the time comes to put in an offer, or receive an offer, the deal could be made or lost in a matter of minutes, so open communications with the realtor is essential. Negotiation - does this agent have the skills required to get you the best price, whether buying or selling? He or she should have some bargaining chips that can be used to your advantage, like paying some of the buyer's closing costs or getting patio furniture and the outdoor grill thrown in. Loyalty - does the agent have your best interest in mind? If he/she is only showing you listings from his own company, you are missing out. Also be careful of someone trying to get you to sell below your pre-determined threshold. Their commission will only be incrementally affected, but your proceeds could take a real hit. While your Realtor is a trusted adviser, you should educate yourself as well. Ask for comps in the neighborhood where you are most interested. Also ask the agent for his or her sales history. If selling, ask what the average time on the market is for the agent's listings. If buying, a good indicator would be sales price compared to asking price. There are so many complexities associated with home buying, like the mortgage process, inspections and insurance. The right Realtor can help to clear through the clutter so that you can stay focused on the most important element - finding the home of your dreams! About the author - Tim Ryan is a Naples Real Estate Agent.   Visit his website to search thousands of Naples homes for sale. Return to Fort Lauderdale Real Estate

John Sabia

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