The property market is a high-stakes game. Whatever you’re doing – buying, selling or investing – you need the best real estate professional you can find on your team.
What’s the difference between a real estate agent or REALTOR®?
Anyone with a real estate license can be called a real estate agent, whether that license is as a sales professional, an associate broker or a broker. A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® bound to uphold the standards and the code of ethics of the association.
Not all real estate professionals are created equal and the real difference comes down to the individual real estate agent you engage. It’s like going on a date, either you and the agent “click” or you don’t.
How many real estate professionals work in your area?
You may need to interview several real estate professionals before you find the individual who’s the right “fit.” Given the huge number of real estate companies and agents in any given area, prescreening can do a lot to give you a workable shortlist.
Research for names or referrals by talking to everyone you know. Going for your annual dental check-up? Ask your dentist. Ask friends and family, colleagues at work, even the vet when you take the dog for his shots. You get the idea.
When you have a list of potential names, check out real estate agent reviews online. Read ratings and reviews for real estate professionals on Angie’s List. Other good resources are the Better Business Bureau and professional real estate organizations. Ask around and find out how previous clients feel about the service they received.
Glossy looking websites and lengthy strings of letters after a real estate professionals’ name can look impressive, as can claims of decades in the business. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. How many listings does the agent have? How many homes have they sold in your area?
Remember these people are sales professionals and will expect you to do your due diligence. The single, most important attribute you are looking for is transparency and honesty.
Next, consider their level of experience and how established are they?
The property market is a complex business made more so by state and city legislation unique to each area. An experienced individual, the best real estate professional for you, will know what pitfalls there may be and how to avoid them.
There will always be property sector professionals who don’t keep up with the market and are out of touch with current trends. These people don’t care that the services they provide may not be the best.
Expertise and knowledge are the keys in this complex industry. Nevertheless, hours of training, qualifications and licensing are no substitute for sufficient hands-on experience in the field.
You are looking for someone with a hunger to succeed and a reputation to protect. These people will always be the best real estate professionals to work with, whether you are buying, selling or investing.
The best real estate professionals will be ready to work hard for you and your money.