How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

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How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Some of the most important decisions you'll make in your lifetime are the ones associated with buying or selling a home. If you're a buyer, you'll want to find the right neighborhood, right home and right mortgage. If you're a seller, you'll want to pick the right price and time to sell. But the step that's often overlooked is finding the right real estate agent.

Real estate agents can be helpful in guiding you through the home-buying or selling experience, as they likely have knowledge and experience that you might not have and handle the paperwork for you.

When you are buying, they can help find the home and area that best fit your family's needs. When you are selling, they set up and oversee open houses, making your life a little easier.

Three ways you can find a real estate agent:

  • Referrals: Ask your friends, family or co-workers to refer you to a real estate agent with whom they had a positive home-buying or selling experience.
  • Searching Online: Do a search for the top real estate companies in your area, then go to those websites and look up profiles of individual agents at offices near you.
  • Attending Open Houses: This is a great way to meet real estate agents without the pressure of having to make a decision right away.

REALTORS® vs. real estate agents

One important factor to take into consideration is that there is a difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®. All REALTORS® are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.

Although both REALTORS® and real estate agents are licensed to sell real estate, the basic difference between the two is that REALTORS® belong to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR®), while not all real estate agents can make that claim.

As a member of the NAR®, a REALTOR® must subscribe to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which contains 17 Articles and Standards of Practice. Because of the pledge that licensed REALTORS® must make to "put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly and fairly," you may have a better experience if you take the time to find a REALTOR®.

Bottom line

When considering a real estate agent, it's important to know your goals and expectations. What do you want out of your real estate agent.

If you have certain expectations, such as a certain frequency of open houses, it's crucial that you find an agent who is on the same page. So, before you choose a real estate agent, sit down and make a list of the things you know you want to do in order to sell your house. Then find a real estate agent who will meet those expectations.

If you are buying, don't assume that your work is done after you find a good real estate agent. Be sure to continue to shop around for the best mortgage so you can afford the home that your real estate agent finds. Always compare rates and monthly payments, and find a mortgage that fits into your budget.

Source: Informa Research Services

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Helpful to 7 out of 8 people

Please remember the number one rule of real estate...it's all about the deal. The listing agent, the buyer's agent, the appraiser, the mortgage broker, the underwriter, the inspector, the lawyer, the seller...all of these people only get paid if the buyer buys! Remember that everyone wants the deal to happen so they can get paid, and that they want to deal to happen as quickly as possible. Remember this and you will be ahead of the game. Believe me, it is a game. The buyer has all of the control, but very few buyers know it. If you have a little experience, buy through the listing agent and not with a buyer broker. Remember everyone wants the deal to happen. Use this to get the best price from, the seller's agent (yes, the seller's agent). They make 6% if you don't use a buyer's broker. Bid low and they will promote your offer over someone with a buyer broker. I'm not being cynical. I'm telling the truth. Ultimately, you count on a Realtor to know valuation but very few of them do. Most Realtors are not very knowledgeable about the properties they list. A car dealer usually knows more about a car he's selling even though the deal is much smaller. I rarely meet a listing agent that even knows the basics of a property they are listing. It's sad but really you are your best agent. Bid to the seller's agent and find a good inspector.

1 Contribution
1 Person Helped

Helpful to 1 out of 1 people

THE COMMENT STATING...."PLEASE REMEMBER THE NUMBER ONE RULE...." WAS THE BEST ARTICLE OF ALL. THANK YOU FOR BEING "REAL", HONEST AND TRANSPARENT.

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I was impressed with this article, well written and truthful, how refreshing that it was not used as an advertisement to capture potential buyers to sell them to the highest real estate agent bidder.  

1 Contribution
0 People Helped

I'm living on limited income because I only receive less than $1,000 monthly through disability.  I'm trying to get a small home or even a cabin for the cheapest price; I'll be living alone and do not need a beautiful place, just a decent one.

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0 People Helped

"Always compare rates and monthly payments, and find a mortgage that fits into your budget." Yeah but if you do to much shopping around for a better mortgage rate your going to get hit with "HARD INQUIRIES" and your credit score will drop quickly!

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