Finding the right real estate agent is an important part of the home buying and selling process. No matter which side of the process you’re on–buying or selling–you’re going to have a lot of interaction with this person, so here are some things to think about before you make a final decision:
Does he have a proven sales record? I know this sounds silly, but one time we put our house on the market, and we went with a really inexperienced realtor. We were kind of young (30-ish), and he was a little younger than us, so we thought we’d help a bro out. If he had done half the job selling our house as he did selling himself; he would have sold the house instead of letting it sit on the market for months on end. (The listing expired, unsold.)
Are you on the same page, in general? Here’s another realtor-choosing mistake we made: We wanted to buy a house that had a bigger yard, but we didn’t necessarily need or want a larger house. The first realtor we spoke to could not wrap his head around that. He was certain that we had to “upsize” our home. Everything he showed us was ridiculously “more”. I didn’t want to clean more. My husband didn’t want to heat more. Basically, we wanted the same size house on a bigger lot, and he didn’t get that. Needless to say, that was another waste of everyone’s time.
Do you have the same priorities, specifically? Of course, everyone wants a quick sale at top dollar, but that may not be realistic for a lot of sellers. Make sure whomever you choose knows what to compromise on, and what to stand firm on. For example, if you have equity in the home but can’t afford to carry two mortgages, and you absolutely have to live somewhere else by a certain date; then you have wiggle room on the price, but you need to get the house sold pronto.
Do you like him? As I said in the beginning, you’ll have a lot of interaction with this person, so it’s best if you get along. I know a man who is a great real estate agent, but I can’t stand him. He’s such a phony baloney, when I see his fake smile coming down the road, I cross the street to avoid him. Luckily, there are dozens of top-rate realtors out there, so I can easily choose someone else.
Your real estate agent can make home buying or selling a pleasant experience, or he can make it an absolute nightmare. Choose wisely.