A home can be so many things. It can be the place you raise your family. It can be a blank canvas from which you create your dream home. It can be your sanctuary. It can be an investment. It can be your retirement. It can be all of the above. The point is that a home is a very important and unique purchase. Not only is it most likely your biggest financial investment; it is also very likely an emotional one. This is why buying a new home is exciting and wonderful—but can also be a little scary and stressful.
When people are looking to buy a home, they are usually glued to the Internet looking for the perfect house, and they should be. But something that many first time buyers don’t realize—until it’s too late— is that it’s also crucial to find the right real estate agent. The real estate agent you select is as important as the tax, legal, or financial consultants you hire to advise you. Therefore, before you choose a real estate agent, even if it’s a referral, make sure he or she meets the following criteria:
Knowledge: It’s important that your real estate agent thoroughly knows the area in which you’re looking to buy. If an agent really knows an area, he or she will know about tucked-away neighborhoods, schools districts, neighborhood amenities, and pricing. It’s also important that your agent has extensive knowledge of the particular sector of the real estate market you’re interested in. For example, you wouldn’t want to hire a real estate agent who primarily sells luxury real estate if you’re looking for a fixer upper.
Experience: Experienced real estate agents understand the complexities of the real estate market and have honed their negotiation skills, meaning they are able to secure you a home for the right price. Experienced real estate agents can refer time-tested mortgage lenders, title companies, home inspectors and appraisers, and they can anticipate potential challenges before they occur. They can also guide you through the entire home buying process and facilitate a smooth closing.
Accessibility: Because purchasing a home is an involved process about which you are likely to have questions and concerns along the way, it’s important that you find a real estate agent who is available to answer your questions. Of course, it’s also important to realize that a good real estate agent is a busy real estate agent, so he or she will probably not always be available to you immediately, but before you hire an agent discuss your expectations and set reasonable turn-around times for emails and phone calls.
Good Chemistry: You are potentially going to be spending a lot of time with your real estate agent, so it’s nice to spend your house hunting weekends with someone that you actually get along with. But more important than that is finding someone you feel comfortable with. You are going to have lots of questions, concerns and requests, so don’t choose a real estate agent who intimidates you.
Good listener: It’s up to you to communicate your needs to your real estate agent, but it’s very important that your real estate agent really listens to you. Therefore, when you’re interviewing prospective agents, make sure they’re focused on you and don’t interrupt you or cut you off. Having an agent who understands exactly what you’ve communicated you’re looking for can save a lot of time wasted on looking at properties that don’t meet your needs.
In short, your real estate agent should understand your needs and do his or her best to accommodate them. Your real estate agent should have your best interest at heart and have the knowledge and experience to make sure you get your dream house for the best price.
With over twenty years’ experience managing local real estate, a personal approach, and my clients’ best interest at heart, I very well might be the right real estate agent for you. Visit me at http://re831.com, or call me at 831.475.5695.
TAGS: sponsored columns, specialty real estate, agent, santa cruz, real estate, real estate agent, realtor
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