It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or selling – you want to have the best real estate agent, no matter what. The quality of your real estate services can make a huge difference in your experience. From reducing stress to saving you money, a good agent will make the process of buying or selling go smoothly.
How can you find the best real estate services? In this essential guide, we’ll give you the most important tips to keep in mind when looking for an agent or agency. Read on to find out how to choose the best real estate services for you.
7 Tips for Finding Great Real Estate Services
1. Check the Licensing
Although this seems all too obvious, it’s always a good idea to check your real estate agent’s license before moving forward.
Every state has its own licensing board for real estate. You can look up an agent in your state’s regulatory body and make sure they have the proper licensing. If that agent has been disciplined by the state for something, you will be able to find out about it there, as well.
In the modern world, this information may be easier to find than ever – there’s a good chance your state’s licensing info is online. Taking a few minutes to look it up might save you lots of hassle in the long run.
2. Consider Credentials
After you’ve made sure the licensing checks out, you should take a closer look at the credentials of any real estate services you have in mind.
Depending on what you need from a real estate agent, there may be different areas of expertise that you should look for. Many agents specialize in certain aspects of the industry. Make sure your agent has the right specialties to meet your needs.
For example, an agent who is a Certified Residential Specialist has extra training the residential real estate field. A Seniors Real Estate Specialist has been trained in working with sellers or buyers who are over 50.
If your agent is a capital-R Realtor, this means that they a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR members pledge to uphold a formal code of ethics, which can help prove that they are trustworthy.
3. Interview Past Clients
So you’ve found an agent with the right license and credentials. Your next step should be to get in touch with some of their past clients, if possible.
Those clients will give you a much better picture of what it’s like to work with that agent than an online review or rating can.
If the agent is reliable and good at what they do, they should be happy to give you contact information for past clients they’ve worked with.
You can ask for additional details, such as whether the properties that have been sold before were similar to yours (if you’re selling). It’s also a good idea to ask former clients what their asking price and selling price was.
4. Check for Awards
Although awards aren’t everything, real estate services that have been given awards by their industry are often a sign of elite performance.
For example, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, presented Lorne Goldman the rare Life Membership award. This designation is presented to salespeople who, for 20 consecutive years, achieved Medallion Club Status (top 10% of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver’s 9,600 members). In the history of the Real Estate Board, since 1919, only 85 people have achieved this award.
Peer-given awards hold a lot of weight too, as they are given by those who know the industry best.
5. Check the History
How long have the real estate services you’re looking at been in business?
Your state’s licensing authority will have information on how long an agent or agency has been in business. You can also ask the agent to provide that information to you directly.
You should hire agents who have been buying or selling real estate for 5 years, at least. It’s even better if they have a history of experience in the right sector. For example, an agent who has been working in your area for a long time will be better able to sell your home, since they’ll understand the unique factors of the neighborhood.
They should also have plenty of experience with homes in your price range. You can’t beat experience when it comes to understanding the housing market.
6. Ask About Area Homes
Another measure of experience is whether or not the agent knows about other homes for sale in your area.
The best agents will be able to give you information on homes for sale in your area without looking it up. If they’re familiar enough with the area and the market, they’ll have that information memorized.
It can help if you learn about a home that’s sold recently near you. Ideally, the agent will already know about that sale and be able to give you some more details.
Good real estate services are at the cutting edge of the market in their area, so they won’t miss out on important information like homes that have sold nearby.
7. Look Them Up Online
Check a real estate services’ other listings to get a better idea of what they can do for you.
Check popular real estate sites, as well as the agency’s website. Since the majority of buyers search online, you need to know that your agent can work the online angle effectively.
They should have a good number of listings – but not too high, so they’ll be able to give your property the attention it needs. The listings should have professional photos and well-written descriptions. Good online listings may even have bonuses, such as video tours.
The more professional and polished the online presence is, the better.
Choosing real estate services can be intimidating. But with the right knowledge, you can choose your agent with confidence.
Do the proper research so you know exactly what an agent is capable of. Once you have a clear picture of the work they have done in the past, the credentials they have, and how much they know about the market, you’ll have a clear picture of the kind of work they can do for you
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