Choosing a real estate agent is similar to choosing a spouse. For both you want….
- Someone who understands your needs.
- Someone who you enjoy being around.
- Someone who will help you make important decisions.
See…it may sound crazy but choosing the right real estate agent really is a bit like playing the dating game! Buying or selling a home just might be the largest purchase you make, so it’s important to work with an agent you trust in order to navigate this financial decision in a way that works for you.
If you’re a terrible dater, don’t worry. We’re here with the scoop to help you find and choose the right real estate agent for you. Since we’re neither pros at dating or real estate, we decided to enlist the help of an actual professional. Paige Scheetz is a Real Estate Executive who has immersed herself in the biz for the past 14 years. Today she is sharing all of her juicy secrets so you can find your perfect match in the world of real estate.
Why Pair Up?
Now you may be thinking that the single life is for you, and you don’t need an agent to help you find the right home. But Scheetz warns against riding solo. She says, “I think most buyers would be surprised to know that lots of the information you see on the internet is full of inaccuracies. A real estate agent has access to the most updated and accurate information.” But it’s not just the top-secret info that agents are privy to, they also come in handy during the negotiation process. A real estate agent doesn’t have the same emotional ties to a property that you might, so she will negotiate the best price for the buyer or seller.
Finding the Right Match:
So we convinced you that you indeed need a real estate agent to help you navigate this intense process, but how the heck do you find one? Well, again this step is very similar to dating…you ask around and see if anyone knows someone who might be a good fit for you! Ask family members, friends, and people who have gone through the buying/selling process in your area. If someone has had a positive experience, they’ll tell you about it. If someone has had a negative experience, they’ll really tell you about it! It’s the people around you who can help “set you up” so you can find the right match.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, or don’t have anyone to point you in the right direction, it isn’t a bad idea to check out the internet. But similar to online dating, be sure to find someone who has the qualities you want. Scheetz suggests finding an agent who truly fits your needs. She says, “If they are an expert on condos and you are moving to the suburbs, this is not your agent! Just because an agent has 25 listings in your area does not mean that they will be a good buyer for you.”
Tips for your “First Date”:
You asked around, and you have a potential agent who just might be the right match for you. Great work! But now before we rush into anything serious, you need to get to know this agent a little better. Set up a phone call or a time to meet with this potential agent, and take some time to get to know them better. That means you’ll need to ask a few questions. Here are some good questions to ask:
- Will you be taking me on as a client, or will it be someone else from your team?
- How many houses did you sell in the past year?
- How long have you been in residential real estate?
- How will you keep me informed about your progress?
- How do you communicate and how often? (Are they available all day, everyday if you have a question? Can you reach them on their cell phone if they’re out of the office?)
There really are no dumb questions to ask during this “first date.” Most importantly, you need to ask yourself how they made you feel when you were interviewing them. You should feel comfortable and at ease with your agent. You need someone who not only knows the answers to your questions, but someone who takes the time to explain them to you. You need to have that spark..that connection…and really click with your agent. Just like any relationship this one will be based on trust and communication. Make sure you feel those things before you proceed working with them.
Common Courtship Mistakes:
Scheetz says that many people drive around neighborhoods and call the numbers off of the For Sale signs. This is a big no-no. “The agent on that sign has already signed an agreement with the seller and already has a relationship with them. While this is legal in some states, it is not in others. If an agent is making promises that seem too good to be true, then it probably is,” she says.
Bottom line: You need to find the agent, before you find the house.
Match Made in Heaven! Now what?
You’ve found your dream real estate agent. Congrats! But now the real work begins. Whether you’re buying or selling, you need to put some work in. “Work on getting a pre-approval from a lender if you’re a buyer. That way we are not wasting time looking at homes you cannot afford. If you are a seller, you will want to have your agent pull comparisons of homes that have sold in your area, to find the true value of your home,” Scheetz says.
Final Words from an Expert:
“Buying and selling homes can be fun, but there are some moments that are not. It’s all a part of the process. Hire an agent that will always give you the good and the bad news in a prompt manner. Remember, buying a home is the biggest purchase you will ever make, but at the end of the the day it is just a house. It’s the people in it who make it happy and full of memories.”
-Paige Scheetz, Real Estate Executive
Now there are plenty of
fish agents in the sea, so get out there and find your soul mate. That will be the first step towards finding your home’s happily ever after.