A real estate agent would act as your guide and help you take on one of the most significant decisions you will ever make within your life time. Therefore, it is imperative that you are absolutely sure that he/she has your best interest at heart and will always try to work towards fulfilling your requirements to the best of his/her abilities.
Choosing a real estate agent who will act on your behalf to find you a good deal is a very important decision. One must look into the following aspects carefully before deciding upon a realtor:
o Does the realtor have enough time for you?
o Are you sure of his personal integrity and work ethics?
o Will the realtor devote enough time and effort for you?
These are pertinent questions whose answers should satisfy you sufficiently. Your satisfaction is crucial in order to safely depend on the realtor about such an important decision. As a buyer, you must feel comfortable at all times. This is even when you have to refuse an excellent deal or move away from the “near perfect” home that your real estate agent may have shown you. It is very important that you do not feel intimidated by the real estate agent and at the same time, he/she must possess qualities such as assertiveness and a high degree of professionalism.
Choosing a realtor is akin to choosing a lawyer or doctor since one does not wish to lose out on a dream house or on a great bargain. The process of short listing or narrowing your search for a real estate agent is most often about how comfortable you are doing business with a particular individual. One has to look out for rehearsed responses and try to get to what the person can actually offer you. The trick lies in not falling for glib talk and going beyond the façade put up by many real estate agents. Most of the realtors are people with integrity, since they are professionals with a reputation to protect. However, what you have to look for in a real estate agent is his/her ability to understand your requirements and deliver accordingly.
Some of the realtors in business would have exceptional sales track records, so probing about their past record may be a good idea in order to asses them. You may also ask for references from individuals who would vouch for the realtor’s capabilities on the basis of having done business in the past. Try to shortlist at least a dozen of real estate agents and use your discretion regarding whom to call for reference.
Ask the real estate agent as many questions as you deem suitable.
You may consider asking questions similar to the ones listed below:
o For how long has each of the houses shown to you been up for sale?
o Which of the houses have had their prices reduced?
o How many times were the prices slashed and how much was reduced?
o Is the realtor ready with a marketing plan for selling your property?
o Would he stick to the plan?
o What is the guarantee given by the realtor that you will get an assured good deal?
You may also consider asking if he/she has taken any courses on the real estate business to gauge his/her enthusiasm and passion for the job. Try to see if the realtor’s voice sounds monotonous to you. In case you do, then ask yourself if his/her approach is relaxing or whether you would like to hear a more lively and energetic voice.
Last but not the very least, you should figure out whether he/she has good negotiation skills. Ask questions related to commissions as in the event of a house sale; both you and your realtor would have to discuss fiscal matters clearly.
Keep a keen eye on how the real estate agent airs his/her thoughts when you bargain for a reduced rate. If he/she is able to convince you that the fee being charged is fair and that it is commensurate with the amount of hard work that he has to put in to earn it, then he/she surely has the capability to convince other people to listen to their side of the story when seeing to business on your behalf!
Such prolonged discussions would give you the time needed for you to judge the personality type of the real estate agent. At the end of it all, you have to select someone who can earn your trust.