Hiring Real Estate Agents
Whether you’re looking to buy a home or sell the one you’re in, there are some important factors to consider when hiring the real estate agent who’s going to handle the project. Depending on how qualified – or not so qualified – they happen to be, that real estate agent can literally make or break the deal. Here’s a few key things to consider before bringing them aboard:
- Time In The Business – How long has this person been on the job (look for at least a year’s worth of experience), and were they full or part time? Naturally, experience is no guarantee of ability, real estate, like many other professions, is a skill that’s mostly learned on the job.
- Talk To Previous Clients – Don’t be timid about asking agents to provide a full list of what they’ve listed and sold in the last year, with all the relevant contact information. Were they disappointed? Pleased with how things were handled? And, if you’re the seller, ask if these past properties are similar to yours in price, location and other relevant features. What you’re looking for is someone who specializes in exactly what you’re selling.
- Verify Their Licensing – Most of the 50 states will have official boards that license and discipline real estate agents in those particular states. Just to be safe, go ahead and check with your state’s regulatory body to find out if this person is actually licensed and if there’s been any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against them.
- Credentials – Just like doctors or lawyers, real estate agents specialize as well. Here’s a few that you may stumble upon: CRS (Certified Residential Specialist; this means they completed additional training in handling residential real estate; ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative; this one refers to their having completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction; and SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist; this means they’ve been trained to help buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
Buying or selling real estate is typically one of the largest, most time consuming, and stressful financial transactions you’ll probably ever experience in your life. This alone is the primary reason to take extra-special care when hiring a real estate agent who’s going to assist you in the complicated process. Do your homework. Ask questions. Verify their backgrounds. You aren’t being sneaky; you’re being smart. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.