When you’re buying or selling a home, it’s crucial to work with a qualified real estate agent. Not just a professional, but an amazing agent and a market expert. With so many options to choose from, how does a prospective home buyer or seller choose the right agent or broker? On the flip side, what does an agent have to keep in mind when developing their own brand? According to the National Association of Realtors®, trust and reputation are the top deciding factors consumers use when hiring an agent.
KNOW YOURSELF AND YOUR REAL ESTATE GOALS
It's impossible to measure the level of success achieved if neither party is aware of the desired outcome. As a buyer or seller, consider your agent to be your most valuable teammate, and vice versa. Make sure that all parties involved are aligned in terms of overall goal, as well as the overarching strategy right from the start. This will prevent any hiccups along the way and provide a firm foundation for addressing the inevitable issues that may arise.
ATTRIBUTES OF AN AMAZING AGENT
Not all real estate professionals are the same, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options and information about working with real estate professionals to buy or sell your home. Here are some characteristics to help you understand what makes top agents and market experts stand apart from the competition:
1. A Pricing Specialist
If an agent has their real estate license, they know the basics of the transaction process. They know what goes into buying and selling a home. However, there’s a difference between knowing the process and navigating it for an ideal result. This ideal result often means buying or selling a home for the best price.
For buyers, amazing agents have a strong understanding of market trends, competition, and how to make your offer attractive to sellers. They can help you identify and secure a deal to ensure you get the home you want, within your desired budget.
If you’re selling a home, market experts have experience pricing homes optimally for the market, and creating pricing plans to minimize the time spent selling the home. This will help you sell for your desired price, and avoid costs like additional mortgage and utility payments.
2. An Effective Time Manager
It’s common to underestimate the amount of time it takes to buy or sell your home. The average real estate agent may not be utilizing the latest tools and technology to make the transaction easier and more cost effective for their clients. Market experts have proven tools and strategies at their disposal to minimize the amount of time you spend on the process.
For sellers, market experts can make sure you only deal with qualified buyers, not the “window shoppers” who can waste your time. We also utilize the latest marketing practices to advertise and price your home effectively, ensuring it gets sold quickly.
When looking to buy a home, inexperienced agents may waste your time by showing you homes that are not a good fit for you. A market expert knows how to prioritize your needs and wants to find you the ideal home within your budget. They also know how to spot “red flags” and can steer you away from homes that are likely to turn up major issues in a real estate inspection, saving you time and money.
In addition, well-networked Realtors can gain access to the hottest listings before many websites do. Their extensive professional networks can help identify “pre-list” homes before they’re officially on the market. This can be invaluable in a highly-competitive real estate market.
3. A Market Insider
While most agents can pull market stats about a neighborhood, community or city, they may not understand important trends or developments that would affect your transaction. These can include the state of the school district, issues with a homeowner association, new businesses in the area, zoning rules or trends in home prices. Market experts live and breathe local real estate and know the trigger points for buying and selling in this market. We also stay current on effective marketing and negotiation practices, resulting in our track record of success.
For sellers, we understand what features of your home and neighborhood are assets in the selling process. And for buyers, we share a deep understanding of market factors, including school and neighborhood quality, crime statistics, speed of sales and more.
4. A Strong Negotiator
Amazing agents truly set themselves apart in their ability to negotiate. Unfortunately, a large portion of agents don’t commit their full time to increasing this key skill.
Real estate negotiations can be challenging, even for seasoned professionals. It takes skill, experience and a knowledge of how to fight for your client’s best interests. While any agent can enter negotiations to buy or sell a home, they may not know the effective strategies to exit those negotiations with the result you want.
5. An Effective Closer
Closing a deal fast is often a good thing. For buyers, it means you found the home you wanted quickly. For sellers, it often means you can avoid the added expenses of mortgage and utility payments, and maximize the value of your home sale. However, an agent solely focused on speed can make decisions that aren’t in your best interests. Top real estate professionals know how to not only achieve your real estate goals quickly, but in the right way to avoid potential pitfalls.
Just like negotiations, the paperwork and process of closing a real estate transaction are complicated. And they can be overwhelming for the average agent who hasn’t handled a lot of transactions. Sales contracts, property disclosures, occupancy agreements and even lead paint records need to be executed with precision. Your agent not only needs to be familiar with these, but also stay current on any changes in requirements or regulations.
Many people work with the first agent they come across without a firm understanding of their level of experience. It’s always a good idea to interview a number of agents before selecting one. You may want to consider referrals you've gotten from people you trust, as well as reviews that reflect upon their past work.
1. National Association of REALTORS – https://www.nar.realtor/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics
3. National Association of REALTORS – https://www.nar.realtor/reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
4. National Association of REALTORS – https://www.nar.realtor/field-guides/field-guide-to-quick-real-estate-statistics