You’ll soon be moving and you may have begun your packing. You have even selected your moving method, leaving one important matter to be done: choosing a real estate agent. Here’s how to select one you’ll be happy to work with.
- Ask friends and family. The best agent to work with is one whom your family or friends know. No, this isn’t someone who they know randomly — rather, it is a professional they have used previously and were happy with his or her service. Get the names of two or three individuals and interview them over the phone. If one person stands out above all the rest, then go with this professional.
- Review her current listings. Not all agents are alike — some are just starting out, while others have been in the business for years. Somewhere from this pool of professionals is an individual you can work with. One way to get a good feel for this person is to review her current listings. If this agent markets homes much like your own, then you have the makings of a good fit. So, review the listings and assess them accordingly.
- Ask for his credentials. A real estate agent may talk the big talk, but does he walk it? Specifically, what credentials does he hold? This is where asking for credentials is important — did you know that a “CRS” is a certified residential specialist? If you find one, this means he has completed training in handling real estate. Other “alpha” representations include SRES — senior real estate specialist and ABR — accredit buyer’s representative. Any agent who uses the term realtor and does so with a capital R is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the largest and best recognized ethical board of real estate agents.
- Verify licensing independently. Any agent can show a license, but that doesn’t mean this person is current. Thus, it is important to call your state’s licensing board to find out if there has been any disciplinary actions taken against him or her. Complaints are one thing, action is something else — if there is information listed, then you’ll need to make a determination based on what you know.
- Discover how long the broker has been in business. Dealing with a new broker may spell trouble. Unless, of course, this broker has split off from another firm. Still, does the broker have the influence and reach to sell your home? Or, will your home be languishing on the market for months on end? Don’t despair though — some brokers are highly connected and respected in their communities, even if they’re new to their own business explains
- A high-profile agent gets results. What about those agents whose smiles and profiles you see nearly everywhere? Do they get results? Well, in fact they do — they wouldn’t pay for advertising if there was something to be gained from it. Visit a website such as Realtor.com and you may find this person’s mug plastered nearly everywhere. What you need to find out is how directly involved is the super agent in the real estate process. She may have an army of agents working for her with little direct involvement. Either way, it is the “results” you want to see — can she sell your home?
Making a Move
When you absolutely feel comfortable with an agent, then get ready to sign a contract. Just make sure you’re comfortable with the commission requirement as well as the listing length. For people who are moving, the length may not matter as much, especially if there is a pool of buyers waiting.