The first thing that might catch your attention while looking for expert home-buying help is that real estate pros are called by many titles, such as “agent,” “broker” or “realtor. So are they all synonymous with one another? Surely not! But just to explain why you should find a realtorinstead of an agent or a broker, realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors, an organization that binds its members to a strict code of ethics. In simple terms, when you work with a realtor, you can expect fairness and honesty.
Then again, that’s not the end of the story because there exist nuances among realtors which that can affect the totality of your experience with them. Hence, when trying to find a realtor, it’s wise to talk to three prospects at least so you can draw helpful comparisons and make a powerful decision. Below are questions you should ask to get the right information that serves as basis for your comparisons:
How long have you been involved in the real estate business?
You don’t just want to find a realtor; you want an experienced one, meaning at least three years of being an agent or broker. More experience means more knowledge and skills to make your transaction as smooth as possible.
How long have you resided in this area?
One remarkable exception to that last question if the realtor you’re considering has been a resident of the area for a really long time. If an agent has just received their license, don’t eliminate them right away. If they’ve been a resident of the area their whole life, they probably know more about the place than an experienced agent who just moved to the region. Weigh the realtor’s general experience against their local experience before coming up with a decision.
Are you part of a team, or are you an independent practitioner?
You will find a lot of standalone agents who are doing a perfect job, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the value that can only be provided by a team. Take note that working with a team can mean quicker response times and more availability.
At what times do you usually work?
Unless they’re working full-time in real estate, ask them what times of the day they’re available. If your schedules don’t align with each other, your transaction will be obviously hampered.
Do you have any vacation plans in the near future?
If they are, in fact, planning on an out-of-town trip, make sure there is someone you can talk to in case you find a nice property during their absence.
Without a doubt, trying to find a realtor is just the first step for you to take. But this part, you should do absolutely right if you want the rest of the process to go in the same direction.