How to Know You Hired a Great Realtor
A bad realtor can quickly sour the buying and selling experience; by hiring a great realtor –someone who is local, has time for you, and has a proven track record—you can ensure you have all of the attention you deserve when buying and selling real estate.
Realtors are responsible for helping you buy or sell a property from start to finish, and they see you through the entire process, whether you are buying or selling. They will find the property that best suits your needs, or they will find a buyer willing to pay what your house for sale is worth.
Though realtors’ jobs involve a lot of behind-the-scenes action that clients don’t usually see, that doesn’t excuse realtors from neglecting clients needs. There are certain things that great realtors do that others do not. While an important aspect of working with a realtor is finding one with whom you can get along and see eye to eye, it is also important to have a realtor who will work hard to be great just for you.
The Talent is Local
Hiring a realtor who hails directly from the area you are buying and selling –like the beautiful Florida Gulf Coast—will contribute to a positive experience. A local specialist will know the lay of the land, the ins and outs of various communities, and which neighborhoods are best for what kinds of clients.
A local realtor can also answer questions about comparable sales and appropriate pricing for a community off the top of her head or with minimal research.
Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) plays a significant role in today’s real estate market. So, your estate agent should not only be part of the MLS (multiple listing service) (and know how to use it), they should also know how to market your listing via social media (or to use social media to assist in finding your dream home).
The Agent Has Time for You
It’s not impolite to confirm that the agent has room for your needs in their workload; in fact, a truly good agent will tell you up front whether or not he or she has time to sell your house or help you find a house. On top of this, the agent will give you names of other area agents he or she trusts.
Giving up business is never easy, but a great agent knows that by putting the customer’s needs first, everyone is winning.
If your realtor isn’t doing the following, chances are that he or she does not in fact have time for you; this is a sign that it’s time to find someone new. Don’t feel guilty about doing this because a truly great agent would have told you up front that they couldn’t handle your needs.
- The agent gets behind on showing your house
- The agent cuts showings or open houses short
- The agent isn’t timely with keeping your listing up to date
- The agent disregards your thoughts and feelings
- There are procedural delays in getting appraisals, signage, inspections, etc.
- The agent is slow to return attempts at communication
- You initiate most of the communications regarding available properties you want to view.
- The agent continually selects homes that do not the criteria you provided.
- The agent seems to have difficulty remembering what you are looking for in a home.
- The agent tries to pressure you into buying a house that you aren’t sure about.
- The agent is unable to show you listings you like in a timely fashion.
When hiring an agent, you also want to inquire about their track record. A great agent will happily discuss their most recent and applicable sales to your needs. So, when interviewing agents, inquire about:
- When were their last three sales made?
- What was the price range and location of their last three sales?
- What was the timeline of their last three sales? (As in, how long did it take from agreeing to represent the client to closing on their home?)
- Can they provide contact information for their last three clients (buyers or sellers, depending on what your needs are) as references?
So, to summarize, most agents are “good” agents in that they will work with you to sell your home or to help you buy a home; a great agent will provide customized service and be readily accessible for you. Great agents have the unique ability to make you feel like their only client, which when you are buying and selling, is a huge comfort.
Additionally, they will have a solid track record complete with respectable sales, listings, and references to complement their quality customer service.
Buying and selling a home are both huge undertakings. With the right realtor, these can be fun and exciting experiences. If you are looking at buying or selling on 30A, local coastal living expert, Melissa Clements, will be better than your right hand as you buy and sell some of the most luxurious real estate the Florida panhandle has to offer.