Real estate agents can either be the best friend or worst nightmare of a homebuyer. Great agents are like invaluable allies who will have your back at every step of the process and make sure you don’t get screwed over
by greedy sellers and unscrupulous brokers. On the other hand, a bad real estate agent is probably just looking out for themselves instead of the client’s interests, and won’t hesitate to leave you high and dry if it means they
can make a quick buck off you.
But which type of agent should you look for? Trusting the wrong person with one of the most important purchases in your life can be a costly mistake. Finding a great real estate agent may seem like an uphill battle at first glance, but as long as you know what to look out for, it shouldn’t be too hard.
1. Great Agents Are Always Educated and Informed
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many agents out there have no idea what they’re talking about. More often than not, the ones who can’t clearly communicate simple concepts or don’t have a
basic understanding of how the real estate market works are either just hanging on to their license out of sheer stubbornness or are just not very good at their job. On top of that, a great real estate agent will also be well-versed in all the ins and outs of the typical sales process.
They will know what to expect at every stage of the game, from the offer to the closing, so that they can make timely adjustments if necessary and not leave you in the dark during a crucial moment. Plus, real estate agents can also be valuable sources of information on the market. They’ll be able to point you in the direction of the best neighborhoods for your needs and tell you about the latest sales trends in your area for you to keep in mind.
2. A Great Agent Is a Good Negotiator
Real estate agents are often thought of as advocates for the seller, but this is a misconception. They are actually advocates for the buyer, but with the seller’s best interest in mind. That’s why a good negotiator is so important –
if the agent doesn’t know how to advocate for you, you’ll end up overpaying for a property that doesn’t meet your needs or end up with a deal that has so many hidden pitfalls that it’ll be impossible to close the deal.
A great agent will also be able to tell you what a reasonable offer is. More often than not, it’s best to offer somewhere between the asking price and the valuation, depending on the state of the market and the property itself. Try to avoid being too aggressive with your offer, but don’t be too timid either – being flexible with your offer is a good idea, but it should never be seen as an opportunity to get taken advantage of.
Arrogant agents who think they know everything are almost as bad as agents who don’t know anything. The best thing to do here is to go for someone who’s confident but not overly aggressive, and who will listen to your needs and offer suggestions without making you feel pressured to take their suggestions.
3. A Great Agent Has Expertise in Your Area of Interest
This one should be pretty obvious, but it’s also one that’s often neglected by homebuyers. Agents are often divided into categories depending on the kind of properties they specialize in – residential, commercial, luxury, etc. – and while it’s not mandatory that you work with someone in the same field you’re in, it’s important to make sure they are at least an expert in your specific area of interest.
Depending on your situation, you may need a residential agent, a commercial agent, or even a luxury agent. It’s not a big deal if you work with someone in a different area of interest, as long as they have the expertise to handle your specific needs. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to hire a commercial agent if you’re interested in a rural residential property, and vice versa.
4. A Great Agent Has Good Relationships
Real estate agents are salespeople who earn a living by getting their clients to sign a contract on a property. In order to do this, they often have to impress potential sellers with the knowledge of their marketing plan and
show them why they would be good candidates for listing the property. And this is where a great agent will shine. A good agent will know how to approach a seller and make them feel comfortable about listing with them.
After all, sellers only have one shot at selling their property, and they want to make sure they get the best offer possible so they can walk away with the highest profit margin. A great agent knows how to approach a seller and make them feel confident about signing with them. As I said, real estate agents are salespeople, so it goes without saying that they should have good relationships with other agents.
This will help you in two ways. First of all, it will give you a better idea of who to stay away from when looking for an agent. Second, it will help you find an agent who is a member of a professional organization, which means they have to follow certain ethical standards, undergo training, and be subject to disciplinary action if they break the rules.
5. A Great Agent Is There for You Beyond the Closing
Real estate is a relationship-based business, which means that things can get pretty ugly when a deal goes south. You don’t want to be on the side of an agent who has a reputation for burning bridges and leaving clients high
and dry, so it’s important to make sure your agent has your backup until the very last moment. This can be a good indicator of how much your agent cares about you as a client.
On top of that, a great agent will be there for you after the closing as well, answering your questions and providing you with advice and help when needed. You’ll be glad to have them around when you have a question or run into a problem, and it’s a great opportunity to repay the favor and help them out when they need it.
6. Bottom Line
Real estate agents are a lot like doctors – you want to go to someone who is great at what they do, but you don’t always know who that is. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to narrow down the field and find a good agent for
your needs and preferences. Great agents are always well-informed and up-to-date on current trends, they are good negotiators, they have good relationships with other agents, and they are there for you beyond the closing.
If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in the near future, make sure you find a great realtor who can help you navigate the process. A good realtor should be knowledgeable about their area and about past trends. They should be easy to communicate with and helpful throughout both the buying and selling process. Only work with a great agent, as that will make all the difference for you in the end. Most importantly, have fun.