If you're a prospective home-buyer, then you'll have a lot to think about before you even start looking for a home. And if you're planning on selling a house or property, you may want to ask yourself a few brief questions—the why’s, when’s, where’s, and how’s of selling a home.
If you’ve gotten this far, then your next step will be one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make: choosing the right realtor. And getting this part right can make all the difference in the long-run. Don't get befuddled by things like this:
In a crowded market, you should really do your research! Source: Creative Commons.
Although a realtor takes commission from every sale, the amount they receive will most likely be exceeded by the value they bring to the table. Whether buying or selling, a good realtor will be able to negotiate a better deal—and with less stress—than if you try and do it all yourself.
Unfortunately, many people decide to go with the first realtor they’re referred to or make contact with, and this could be a mistake. There’s nothing wrong with shopping around and asking a few questions to find the right fit. Think of this like a job interview: you’re the hiring manager trying to fill a position. You have a good idea about what you’re looking for, and you’re willing to wait for the right candidate.
Here are a few things to consider when searching for a realtor:
1. Local knowledge and connections
Markets often fluctuate, and all neighborhoods can be different. You’ll want a realtor who’s knowledgeable about the different neighborhoods and communities in Victoria, and who can advise you as to the pros and cons of each location. Your realtor should also be an expert in housing valuation, and be able to determine whether a house is over- or under-priced for the market.
Since buying or selling real estate can be a complicated affair, it also helps if your realtor has some good third party recommendations, such as mortgage brokers and notaries. Having these systems in place should streamline the mortgage approval and legal aspects of the process, making the experience as simple as possible.
2. Online presence
Imagine a world where you can go online and search houses for sale, find information about all things real estate related, and easily communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Well, it should come as no shock that this is the world we're living in right now!
The days of the 'for sale' sign on the lawn are coming to an end! Source: Creative Commons.
Not every realtor has a strong online presence, and this can be a bad sign. Realtors today should be putting listings online and promoting them through their online marketing channels, using these same channels to match potential buyers with houses for sale, and most importantly, they should be able to respond to all of your queries in a timely and efficient manner.
In real estate, there’s nearly unlimited potential with online marketing. Any realtor who’s not utilizing this platform to its utmost potential is going to be at a severe disadvantage, and this should be an immediate red flag. Check to make sure their websites are up-to-date and that they have a respectable social media presence. And if they have a regularly updated blog, even better!
3. Experience Counts
Statistics have shown that the vast majority of new realtors fail within their first few years. With an abundance of real estate agent certification courses out there, it’s become easier than ever for someone to make a career change over into real estate. This means that the first realtor you make contact with may not be the best choice in the long-run.
You don't want an inexperienced realtor making mistakes with your home! Source: Creative Commons.
You’ll want to ask your prospective real estate agent about their history and how long they’ve been working in the industry. Find out how many homes they’ve sold in the past year, and in what price range. While there’s nothing wrong with using a real estate newcomer, you’ll want to ensure that their expertise matches your expectations.
The last thing you want during the buying or selling process is to encounter a situation in which your realtor doesn’t know what he/she is doing, as this could lead to losing out on a deal.
4. A Good Attitude
A realtor should be helpful and always striving to serve your specific needs. You should never be pressured into anything you’re uncomfortable with. It’s your realtor’s job to be an advocate for YOU, and not just an advocate for making a sale by any and all means.
Choosing the right realtor can bring a massive return on investment—that is, if you get it right.
Contact one of us today if you’d like to ask us a few questions and see if we might be the right realtor for you.