Let’s face it. Buying and selling your home isn’t as simple as it seems. There’s a reason why people work with real estate agents. The ideal real estate agent makes the home buying and selling process as easy as possible for his or her clients. So, how do you find a good agent? Here are eight qualities of a reliable real estate agent.
The agent is specialized
You wouldn’t go to a dentist if you have a broken arm, so why would you choose a real estate agent who specializes in mobile homes if you want a luxury property? You’d be wise to choose a real estate agent who specializes in a niche market. An agent might be specialized in different properties, types of clients or locations. If you want to buy a vacation home, rather than choosing an agent who is more general, find one who knows vacation homes like the back of their hand.
The agent has an even listing to closing ratio
If a real estate agent is closing on a ton of homes, that may seem impressive. But make sure you’re not fooled by the sheer quantity of homes closed. If the agent sold 20 homes but listed 100, his or her success rate isn’t as high as if he or she sold 20 homes and listed 20 homes and got the best deals for those homes.
The agent has an online presence
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, “nine in 10 home buyers rely on the Internet as one of their primary research sources, and 52 percent turn to the web as their first step.” A distinguished real estate agent has an impressive digital presence. This includes a user friendly website, active social pages and he or she should be easy to find on simple search engines.
Other agents in the area respect him or her
After researching the agent, did you find that he or she has relationships with other local agents? Do the other agents in the area respect the agent? Transactions tend to be more seamless when the agent has a positive working relationship with other local agents, brokers and landlords.
The agent lives and works in the area that you’re interested in
Much like specializing in a certain type of real estate, an experienced real estate agent lives and works locally. This way, he or she knows first hand about the schools, community, local businesses etc. These agents tend to be more passionate and knowledgeable about the location you’re interested in and can provide valuable advice and guidance.
The agent is full-time
You don’t want selling your home (or searching for a new one) to be the agent’s side gig. You want someone who chose this profession as a career because he or she is passionate about the business and thrives on success. A full-time real estate agent is busy, but a reputable agent is responsive and dedicates ample time for each client.
The agent listens
You’ve found a good agent when he or she makes it a top priority to understand your needs above anything. You want an agent who is more like a trusted adviser than someone trying to sell a product at your front doorstep. A reliable real estate agent will ask thoughtful questions about your specific needs, understand your concerns and desires, and provide valuable guidance.
The agent is proactive
A quality real estate agent proactively communicates with potential buyers and continuously explores new leads. He or she stays up to date with the latest trends and topics in real estate. And most importantly, a good agent keeps the client well informed throughout the whole buying and selling process. They have an answer to your questions before you even have to ask.
When picking a real estate agent, it’s important to find someone who is a good fit for you and your particular situation. Select an agent whose personality you get along with, someone who understands your specific needs, and someone you can trust. There are plenty of good agents out there; you just have to do a little research to find the best match for you.