Saturday, July 20, 2013

How to choose a realtor By Lisa DiBiase

How do you choose a Realtor? This is a great question and should be considered extremely important to anyone who is considering buying or selling a home. As realtors, we go out each day with a job to do just like everyone else. That job is to help people achieve their real estate needs effectively and in a timely manner. This can be said for anyone's job description; complete the task quickly and effectively. For example, if my car breaks down, I take the car to a mechanic who is an expert on how to fix them. I do not try to fix the car myself! Even though I can navigate under the hood and determine what I think is wrong with the vehicle, I do not attempt to try and do something without an expert opinion. This is the same reason one should use a realtor. As realtors, we are the experts in our field and can help you navigate "under the hood' in a real estate transaction. There are many reasons to list as to why to use a realtor and perhaps I will make that my next article! But today is about how you choose an agent to represent you and your biggest asset. This is an important decision to make and it must be an educated one.

So what makes each realtor different and how does it affect you and your real estate needs? The following are important questions you should ask when interviewing a realtor:

How long have you been in business?
Experience is key. Each day is a new day in this business and we learn something new every day. No two transactions are the same. A seasoned agent is likely to have a solid base of experiences to refer to when handling each transaction. Seasoned agents are great, just make sure they are staying on the cutting edge of technology. But what about new agents? New agents are hungry for the business just be sure they have competent mentors helping them through their first and second year. Ask them to bring their mentor or designated broker to the first meeting.

How many homes have you sold so far this year and how many total last year?
This is such an important question to ask. This is going to tell you how successful an agent is in one quick answer. The more houses a realtor has sold, the more experience they have, and the more experience they have, the more valuable they are to you. It’s important to know how many homes they sold the previous year as well as the current year. On average 5 percent of the realtors are selling 95 percent of the inventory. Therefore, the average agent sells between 5-8 homes a year and the successful agents are selling above 30 homes a year.

Do you work with more buyers or sellers?
This is important to discover whether the agent has more experience in one area of real estate over the other. If you are looking to list your home, it is helpful to have someone with the skills and marketing plan to help you sell your home quickly. Conversely, if you are looking to buy a home, it is important to have an agent know the inventory. Ideally, you look for an agent that does both!

What are three things you do differently than the other realtors?
All agents have their own marketing plans and ways of working with their clients. It is up to you to determine what is important to your needs when you ask this question. To some people communication is key and to others it’s more about the action plan! You must start by asking yourself what standards you want from your realtor. From there, you can ask what they do differently and decide who fits your criteria best. This is where you can determine what kind of marketing they offer and how much commission they charge.

What have I not asked you that I should know about?
This is an opportunity for the realtor to sell themselves! It’s important to listen to how well they pitch their own services and that will give you an impression on how they will negotiate for you when it comes down to getting the best price.

Being a realtor is a job just like any other profession. It is our job to help you quickly and effectively protect your biggest asset and/or investment. Please call a local realtor for all you real estate needs, no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.
 Lisa DiBiase is Lisa DiBiase is the owner of Landing Real Estate. She is also the reigning Mrs. Maine America 2013. 

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