When making large buying or selling decisions it is vitally important that you choose a Realtor that not only has experience and proven results over time, but also puts you at ease "emotionally" and takes their fiduciary (loyal counseling) duties seriously.... Here are some practical tips to help the process:
- Do some "online" research: Is this Realtor respected in your area, by their peers, and has strong and relevant reviews/testimonials about their performance?
- Do some "old school" research: Ask your friends and family who they might recommend.
- Is this agent active and invested in your community? (Church, Parent Boards, Sports, or even Community/Volunteer Activity)
- Does this agent have a strong grasp of the current and historic real estate marketplace, in regards to mortgage products and financing techniques?
- When you are interviewing an agent (You should try to interview at least 3) How do you feel when they are talking with you? Are they patiently answering your questions, and do they "make sense"?
- Do you feel "heard" or do you feel like they are talking down to you, or not paying attention to your needs? Do you feel as if they are just telling you what they think you want to hear, and not their honest opinion?
If you are selling your home, and interviewing agents, one thing critical to remember that many times an agent uses a technique (sometimes subconsiously) to say a potential sellers home is worth more than it really is. It is an old method called "buying the listing", it is in hopes that the listing time frame is long enough that the agent can "get the seller" to lower the price to align with the true market value.
Remember, it is best to interview more than one agent. If you talk to more than 3 you might get overwhelmed and they might start to "blur" together. When they meet you have them review the market data that they provide you with them, and then review it on your own....and be transparent (honest) with the positives and negatives about the physical condition and potential market value of your home.