Updated: Jul 31, 2022
A real estate agent who communicates well and whose values align with yours can go a long way toward making your home buying experience a pleasure.
If you haven’t bought or sold a home before, you might be surprised by how much contact you’ll have with your real estate agent. You don’t need to be best friends, but the two of you should mesh. A clash of personalities could lead to anger, resentment, and flat-out distrust, and none of these emotions belong anywhere near deals that involve at least tens of thousands of dollars. Lets break down why finding a good realtor really matters.
#1 They know the local market
The nuances of the local real estate market involve not only home prices but also school ratings, the characteristics of individual communities, and the potential for reselling the home at a future date. Effective real estate agents should know the local area, the standard prices for different neighborhoods, and neighborhood and school reputations. They should also freely share that information with you. This goes back to trust, which will get mentioned again (and again) because it’s such an important quality in a good real estate agent.
#2 Trust Matters
Trust matters, which is why it’s been mentioned so many times so far. You should trust your agent to work in your best interests and be honest with you. Yes, your agent is getting a commission, but she’s also serving you. Check reviews. Talk to former clients. If your instincts ever tell you your agent is not being completely up-front with you or not telling you everything you need to know to make an informed decision, go with your gut and find someone else.
#3 Specialties Make a Difference
There are specialized markets within the real estate business, and certain agents will know more about these markets and be better able to negotiate and provide services within them. For example, some agents work with senior citizens who aren’t familiar with buying and selling, while others specialize in high-end properties or specific geographical areas. If you happen to be in a niche market, an agent with experience in that niche may be more effective at getting you a better deal.
#4 The Risks are Real, and the Agent Should Tell You
Real estate ventures inherently come with some risk, and your agent should tell you that. Sugarcoating the risks won’t help you. This issue comes back (again) to trust. The agent should tell you all of the pros and cons of a house, the neighborhood, and the financials so you can go into the process with eyes wide open.
#5 Clear Communication
This person will be negotiating on your behalf for a house you could be living in for decades to come. Good communication is crucial, and it should flow easily between the two of you. An agent who doesn’t respond to emails, texts, or phone calls can make your stress levels skyrocket. Your agent should be responsive to your questions and clear in his responses. Vague or ambiguous language or frequently delayed responses are signs that communication isn’t your agent’s strength.
Whatever your approach is to finding a good real estate agent, be sure to choose someone that your are comfortable working with, and who has extensive knowledge on the market that you are buying and selling in. By following the key tips above you reduce the risk of finding a bad real estate agent and finding someone that cares about your investment as much as you do.