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7 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Real Estate Agents In San Diego

Choosing real estate agents in San Diego can be a big decision if you don't have a go-to in your back pocket.  While most people choose to work with an agent they know, if you don't have an agent that you've used in the past or one that you know through your circle of friends, the decision may come as a challenge.  Here are seven great tips to think about when choosing your next San Diego realtor!

Personality

While it may seem obvious, making sure that you like the agent you choose is important.  If you're a young, vibrant individual with a smart phone and tech-savvy skills, your ideal agent may not be a crotchety 70-year old who asks you to fax her paperwork.  During a real estate transaction, agents often work with buyers and/or sellers for long periods of time, typically for at least one to four months and often get to know one another on a very personal level.  When choosing realtors, you want to find someone who jives well with you, fits your personality, and has values that are similar to your own.

Financial & Market Education

Real estate market knowledge and financial education aren't in every consumer's knowledge base.  But that's ok - that's where hiring a good real estate professional comes in!  When interviewing and getting to know the San Diego realtor you're considering for hire, take note of how knowledgeable they are on the local real estate market. Depending on your residential real estate goals, you'll also want to make sure to find an agent who is educated on the topic.  If you're an investor and want to do a 1031 exchange with a rental property, you'll want to ensure that the agent you use is familiar with the process.  If you want a fixer property to remodel and increase the value, an agent with knowledge of how to run after repair values (ARV) and comps is important.  If you're a first time home buyer and working with a unique down payment-assistance loan, try finding an agent who enjoys and has experience with first-time home buyers!

Avoid The "Hobby" Agents

Real Estate Agent
There are a lot of agents who run their real estate business as a "hobby", outside of a full time job or other responsibilities.  It's important to find an agent who will have time to accommodate your schedule and who seems committed to their real estate business.  If your agent has a full time job, who is going to show you properties on your day off? Many agents work with a real estate brokerage and other real estate professionals to help their clients buy or sell their real estate. If they don't have any of these connections, they may not be the best choice. 

Local Knowledge Expert

You'll want to choose a Realtor that has knowledge (or is willing to learn) about the neighborhood you are interested in.  It is helpful for a client, especially if they are from out of the area, to have a local expert aid in finding them a perfect home. Do they know the "inside scoop" on different neighborhoods and areas?  Do they seem to have a good grasp on different home prices in neighborhoods and city pockets?  If you want a certain home characteristic, can they name areas that may offer homes containing it? These are all important questions to ask, especially if you are unfamiliar with the market you will be buying in.

Timeliness

TimeYou'll want to choose a San Diego realtor that has knowledge (or is willing to learn) about the neighborhood you are interested in.  It is helpful for clients, especially if they are from out of the area, to have a local expert aid in finding them a perfect home. Do they know the "inside scoop" on different neighborhoods and areas?  Do they seem to have a good grasp on different home prices in neighborhoods and city pockets?  If you want a certain home characteristic, can they name areas that may offer homes containing it? These are all important questions to ask, especially if you are unfamiliar with the market you will be buying in. If you're thinking about selling your San Diego home, a strong agent will know how to use a multiple listing service to benefit your specific real estate listing. A great local agent will know each neighborhood and the market value of the houses around them. 

Communication

If an agent isn't communicating well or returning your phone calls promptly, it could be an indication of the service they are going to provide you in the future.  You want a strong agent that will be there when you need them, providing you with updates and open communication every step of the experience.  If an agent isn't returning your calls to set an initial meeting, are they going to be too busy to answer your calls when you're amidst a time-sensitive transaction?

Network Connections

The real estate career is a very relationship-based and if an agent is known for having burned many bridges in the industry, they may not be the best choice in selling or purchasing your home.  If an agent is friendly, has a huge network, and is friends with other agents, they may have an easier time selling your home or getting an offer accepted. If your agents are part of an association of realtors, that's a sure fire sign that they have a network of other agents that can bring buyers to view a property being sold, or have other housing options to view from other agent's real estate listings. 
 
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Choosing a real estate agent can be overwhelming, but it shouldn't be if you keep these simple tips in mind.  Finding an agent you enjoy working with is important.  You want to feel confident that they'll have your best interest in mind when you buy or sell real estate and provide you with exceptional service through the entire real estate transaction experience. 

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