Five Fantastic Insights For Landing Your Perfect Real Estate Agent

We’ve experienced some rather unique weather patterns this winter in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Over the past week alone we got a tease – a taste of spring!  When seasons begin to change, and they will, home sellers start to catch “the fever.”  It’s an interesting phenomenon that exceeds most anything you’ll experience at this time of the year (yes, even in Punxsutawney).  This can be a stressful time of the year for homeowners as they gear up to sell their homes.  Life moves on and sometimes, for whatever the reason, you may need to move to, sell a family estate or the like.  It’s even nerve-racking for homebuyers, especially first-timers, looking to enter a market where inventory has been lower than we can ever remember it.

Part of the anxiety is born when a customer believes he/she is going at it alone.  And in those situations, I would certainly say, stress would be justified.  The good news is, if you have a real estate agent who’s your perfect match, you have an advocate and smoother sailing ahead.  So what’s the trick?  How can you discover your perfect match in your local real estate market?  Below we’ve highlighted five fantastic insights which will help you find the real estate agent who’s right for you!

Perfect Real Estate Agent

Research, Research, Research…

Part of the anxiety of choosing a real estate professional comes with the thought of getting stuck with an agent who’s a real dud. Or maybe you don’t even know where to start.  This is the day and age of social media, is it not?  May we suggest this be your point of origin.  Take your request to Facebook and your other social channels.  Ask your circle of friends and acquaintances, who they would recommend in your local market.  Referrals can go a long way in assisting you in this vetting process.  According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2017 Profile of Homebuyers & Sellers, “forty-two percent of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor or relative.”  Next Google this agent.  What have you discovered?

More Research…

Even if the referral or top candidate seems like a perfect fit, don’t settle just yet! Choosing an agent is similar to choosing a spouse.  You’re most likely going to be spending a great deal of time with each other.  Again, I doubt you want to get stuck with a bad apple.  Gather up a few more names of potential matches.  Venture out into your market and do a field study.  You won’t be needing muck boots or insect repellant, but you need to take some initiative.  Effort here on your part can really pay off later, so be proactive.  When you venture out into the market, go “undercover” and see potential candidates in action at open houses.  Were they on time?  How did they handle themselves at their open house?  Were they welcoming?  Did they provide helpful information to you and other prospective buyers?  Did they answer all your questions?  How did they market the property?  Did they follow-up with you days later regarding your interest in the property?  After your field study, trek back to Google and do some more investigating.  Find testimonials about the agents you are considering.  What are their past clients saying about them?


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These Three Qualities…

There are three things that everyone entering the market should look for in his/her real estate agent: Knowledge, efficiency and honesty. First, how well does the agent know the local market or more specifically the neighborhood(s) you’re interested in?  Do they live there (or at the very least close by) or have they lived there?  Local market knowledge is an essential ingredient for your perfect agent to possess.  Secondly, real estate transactions can be a nightmare if they’re not dealt with in an organized and efficient manner.  Does your potential match have the wherewithal to anticipate problems before they arise?  Lastly, finding an agent you can trust can put you at ease right from the onset.  You need an agent you can feel comfortable with, someone you can share confidential information with and someone who will keep your best interests front and center.

The Rare Exception…

While it is possible to find a real estate professional who has both stellar numbers/production as well as customer service, this is a rare exception. With all things being equal, and time being one of them, balancing high output with quality customer service is harder to find than most would lead you to believe.  There’s a big myth in our Greater Scranton market that top producing agents because they have the numbers are always the go-to professionals, but this is simply not the case.  And while I’m not discounting the fact that being a top-producer is a great quality to own, being one doesn’t ensure that your trustworthy or abide by the NAR Code of Ethics.  Yes, there are those who sell millions of dollars of property each year, but their minimal knowledge of your preferred neighborhood would pale in comparison to the motivated new agent who knows that target market very well.  Because the agent is in the top one or two percent of their local board, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll have the proper amount of time to dedicate to you.

Perfect Real Estate Agent

Communication Is Key…

As in any business dealing, it’s vital to keep an open line of communication with all parties at hand, especially the one directing this orchestra of real estate – namely your agent. How do you prefer to be contacted as it pertains to real estate?  Does his/her communication style jibe well with yours?  How does he/she plan to sell your home or find your dream one?  It’s important to lay down a good foundation for what your communication style is like and what you’re looking for from your agent.  Do you prefer to be contacted at least once a week (even if all is quiet in the marketplace)?  These are imperative questions to address prior to selecting your perfect agent.

 

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell in today’s market, having a real estate professional who complements the criteria above can save you considerable time, energy and Advil.  Make a mental note of these pointers and choose wisely.  Search for someone who has a solid work ethic and is engaging.  If you’re looking for a home or investment property, sign a buyer’s agency agreement, but for a shorter duration of time.  You can always extend it if you believe it would be mutually beneficial, but you’d hate to be stuck with an agent who isn’t the best fit for you.  So get to work and find that perfect real estate agent for you!

For more insight on finding a great agent, check this article we wrote last summer.  You can find some wonderful REALTORS® here.


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