When you decide to buy or sell a home, you must first ask yourself if you wish to endure the headaches alone, or if you want to hire a good real estate agent instead. Obviously if you’re following this blog, you’ve probably decided to investigate what exactly A good real estate agent does, and if it’s worth it.
As with any service, there are several things you can hire people to help you do to save yourself time, headaches, and money. In order to make sure you’re getting what you want, you may have to do a little digging. For instance, if you hate shopping and picking out clothes for yourself, you may want to hire a personal shopper. Would you be satisfied if this person went out and bought you $1,000 worth of items because you told her that’s the budget you had set aside for clothes and that’s what you wanted? Well, at first glance, yes, she’s done her job. Now, what if you start to try these clothes on and realize that it’s not what you wanted at all? It’s not your style, the clothes don’t fit, the shoes are too small, and she only actually got five items—for a thousand dollars! Now, you’re not so happy because unfortunately, you have hired a “professional”, but she is not providing the service you were expecting.
The same thing can happen to you when buying or selling a home. You don’t do this every day, so I’m not expecting you to know all the right questions to ask! Let me suggest a few things to keep in mind before hiring an agent to work for you:
1) Like I mentioned in a previous blog, by North Carolina law, we all work for the seller until you hire us. A good agent is going to go over the Working with Real Estate Agents brochure the first chance they get. Even if they don’t have the brochure on them, they will talk with you about it and explain to you not to tell them any information you consider confidential (or information you wouldn’t want the seller to know) until you hire them.
2) A good agent will know their market! It is so important to stay up to date on market trends and to know what is going on around you when you decide to buy or sell a home. Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? Are home prices going down, up, or staying stable? What inventory is available? An agent that can answer these questions and others will be able to find you the best deal!
3) A good agent will be available to you when you need them. We’re busy! We stay on our phones and computers and with clients everyday and we’re juggling lots of things back and forth. So, if an agent doesn’t always answer your call right away, don’t be alarmed! But be wary if they don’t return your call in a timely manner.
4) A good agent will not mind answering your questions. We understand that, even if you have done research and get the jest of a transaction, this is not your specialty and you’ll more than likely have TONS of questions! Any person who tries to make light of your questions or who seems tired of communicating answers to you probably doesn’t understand that part of our job is educating our clients.
5) A good agent will be helpful and thorough. Beware of anyone who wants you to sign anything without explaining it to you fully first. We want to know that you understand what you’re signing and the implications that each document has on your agency relationship, offer to purchase a home, or contract with a seller.
6) A good agent understands that once you hire them, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you as their client. They understand that their main concern is to get you the best deal possible and to represent you and your wants while maintaining loyalty and confidentiality in negotiations while communicating with the seller’s agent.
Now that you know what to look for, you can be confident you’ll find a great agent who is a pleasure to work with! We want you to ENJOY your home buying or selling experience because when you win, we win!