How many real estate agents do you know? Chances are, you’re within 1 to 3 degrees of separation from at least one. There are many licensed realtors in the current market. That’s no surprise. Real estate is a flexible career, and it offers many people a great opportunity to branch out into a new field. It also has a relatively low barrier to entry. There are required classes and exams, but those who are serious about studying are typically successful.
Just because you know a realtor does not mean you should choose that person to be your realtor. In fact, it may be best to work with a real estate agent who is not a personal contact. Keep in mind that your agent will see your financials, may have to deliver disappointing news sometimes, and will most likely witness a few tense conversations between you and your spouse. Even though real estate agents are mostly very professional, it still tends to impact the ongoing relationship somewhat.
When Choosing a Real Estate Agent, Do Your Homework
Not all real estate agents are the same. Of course, they come in all levels of experience, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Interview several agents to find one that is the best fit. During the interview, you’ll want to ask things like:
- Are you a full-time or part-time agent?
- Do you represent buyers and sellers, or do you prefer one over the other?
- Do you work with a team or on your own?
- Does your team split clients between listing and buyer agents?
- How many clients are you working with right now?
- How many transactions have you closed in the past year, and at what average price point?
- Have you completed transactions in the location where I’m looking to buy or sell?
- Do you have a list of contractors and vendors to refer for any home improvement or repair needs?
- Do you work with a professional stager and photographer?
Each answer will help you understand how committed the agent is, how good of a fit they are for your circumstances, and their level of professionalism. A full-time agent is going to be available for calls and showings in the middle of the day. An agent with a list of trade contractors who actually show up to do the work has a reputation in the community. A listing agent may not spend as much time on buyer clients. An agent who hasn’t sold a home in your price range might not have the experience needed for this transaction. An agent who works with a photographer understands real estate marketing best practices.
Check References Before Hiring a Realtor
Ask the agents you’re interviewing if they have a few past clients you can contact for references. You can also ask in community groups on social media if anyone has a reference for a particular agent. This is a gamble though. Most people will ignore your actual question and give you the name of their preferred realtor. It’s also important to ask the agent which mortgage lenders they use most often. Check their reputations as well. A great realtor will only work with great lending agents.
Above all, listen to your gut. You are entering into a temporary but intense relationship with your agent, so it’s important that you choose the right one. An agent who is not a good fit for your needs could prevent you from achieving the best results. You need to be comfortable with the person representing you and confident in their ability to do so.
While you’re making that list of agents to interview, go ahead and add 1SlickHome.com and The Geoff Slick Team to it! As full-time experienced agents, we represent both buyers and sellers with exceptional, personalized service. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve your real estate goals. We serve the western Philadelphia suburbs, including Souderton Area School District, North Penn School District, Quakertown School District, Pennridge School District, Central Bucks School District, and more!