Selling your home and finding a new home is a very personal process. As such, the realtor you work with needs to be somebody who intimately understands what you need out of a house. Oftentimes families find themselves working with a realtor that is more interested in the sale than actually finding them the perfect home. What can you do to ensure that the realtor you choose is right for your family?
Don't just assume that all realtors are the same. There are a variety of reasons that somebody can choose to be a realtor, and the reason they chose this career can have a big impact on the way they treat their clients. Get to know your realtor on a personal level and ask questions about how they approach the business of buying and selling homes. The better you know your realtor's motivations and personality, the easier it is to decide whether or not they're right for you.
Realtors are like other service professionals. The internet is full of reviews from real customers and clients who have worked with them in the past. Read reviews and see what other people are saying about their experience. Are they willing to recommend the realtor in question? Why or why not? The more recent the reviews, the better idea you will get of the realtor's current practices. Working with a top producer real estate agent could be a great solution for you, but make sure that they put their clients first.
Ask for Recommendations
While you're searching for reviews, it's worthwhile to contact trusted friends and family members and ask for references. If one of your friends has recently moved or has worked with a realtor on several deals in the past, they may be able to point you in the right direction. This will cut down on the time it takes you to research all the realtors in your area. In addition, it ensures that the review you are getting is authentic and relevant.
What to Look For
So what qualities are you really looking for out of your realtor? As you're browsing reviews and asking interview questions, these are a few of the characteristics you should be looking for up front:
- You want a realtor who puts the customer first. They should be interested in learning about you and your family, and your needs. Not everyone is looking for exactly the same style of house, even if it's currently trendy. You want to know that they are listening to you and actually hearing what you have to say.
- You want a realtor who provides something of value during your transaction. Many customers only work with realtors who work full time in the real estate business because it shows that they are committed to the job at hand. If they are not willing to answer the phone after hours when you need help, or they are unwilling to advertise your property using all available avenues you may question their helpfulness.
- You want a realtor who sees you as a person. Similar to the way you interview realtors to understand who they are as people, you want a realtor who understands that you and your family are people who will actually have to live in the house they sell you, and who have a stake in making a great sale. You aren't just there to bring them a paycheck, and they shouldn't treat you that way.
- You want a realtor who communicates clearly and openly. Communication is one of the most important skills that any realtor can have. It plays a critical role in keeping all parties informed and negotiating deals. A realtor who fails to answer phone calls or emails in a timely manner, or who can't answer questions accurately typically presents a problem.
Before you sign any listing contract or start searching for your next home, do your homework first. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a realtor that lacks a fundamental understanding of what you need. The more research you do early on, the sooner you can start building a positive relationship with a realtor that really works for you.