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7 Tips for Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent

When you are getting ready to buy or sell a house one of the first steps in the process is to pick the right real estate agent.  Selecting the right agent is crucial and can result in thousands of dollars in your pocket, or out of your pocket.  It can be a daunting task for anyone, so here are 7 tips for selecting the right real estate agent.

1.) Speak with clients that the agent has recently worked with

Buyers Standpoint: Successful agents will be happy to provide you with a list of what they have listed and sold in the past year.  This is a good way to gauge the negotiation skills of your agent.  Look for what the house was listed for and compare the price to what the house actually sold for.

Sellers Standpoint:   Ask the agent about properties they have sold that are similar to the property you are selling.  You want to compare properties that are similar in size, location, and value of your home.  The point of this is that you want someone that is an expert in what you're selling. 

2.) Make sure the agent is licensed

You can look up any agents license through the state they operate in.  You can also view any complaints or disciplinary actions the agent has had in the past, usually posted online.  It is easy and simple to check, but an important step.

3.) Check for any awards given to the agent

There is a National Association of Realtors throughout the United States.  Each state has a local branch that will give out the Realtor of the Year award each year.  This is a huge endorsement for a realtor to receive as it is peer judged.  Even if the agent your researching hasn't received this award, it's ok, ask them if they have received any other awards.  

4.) Pick an agent with credentials that fit your needs

The three popular credentials agents will pursue and get extra training for are: Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate, Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions, and Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.  Select an agent that has the right credentials for your buying or selling needs.

5.) Research the agent's experience 

You can usually ask the agent directly about their experience or you can see how long the agent has been in business from the state licensing authority.  Try to use an agent that is actively working in a particular area and price range.

6.) View the agent's current listings

You can view the current listings the agent has online.  Look to see if the agents listings are similar to the house you are buying or selling, and how much business they are currently doing.  You want an agent with a healthy workload, but not an agent that has so many listings that it takes them a week to return your calls or emails.

7.) Figure out if the agent knows the area well

A good agent will know their neighborhood very well.  A simple test you can do is to ask the agent about a house that has sold recently in your area and if they can give you a few details about the house or sale, it is a great indicator that the agent is on top of the market in that area.



   By Dillon Landfried - May 2, 2019

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