Whether you are buying or selling, a real estate transaction is often the largest we make in our lifetime. Given the size of the financial commitment, most people want a professional in their court, which makes choosing a real estate agent a key part of the process. But how do you choose a real estate agent? And even more to the point, what is the best way for choosing a good real estate agent?
In this article we’ll talk about how to choose a real estate agent and the different types of agent relationships, whether you are a buyer or seller.
How to choose a real estate agent for buying or selling your home
There are three classifications to be aware of: a Realtor®, a real estate agent, and a broker. A Realtor is either an agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). When choosing a real estate agent to buy or sell your home, it’s helpful to know that a Realtor adheres to a code of ethics to treat their clients honestly and fairly.
A real estate agent has taken more than 100 hours of coursework and passed a state exam to earn a license to sell property. A broker has done all of this and has completed the courses required to qualify to hire agents to work under them.
In choosing a good real estate agent, interview at least three
There are many qualified real estate agents. But finding and choosing a good real estate agent, or one who is perfectly suited for you, can help you find your dream home. And a well qualified real estate agent can save you thousands of dollars.
Questions to ask when choosing a real estate agent to buy or sell your home include:
• How long have you lived in the area? It’s critical to find a Realtor who has lived in the area for a long time, especially in a competitive real estate environment like we have in Boulder County.
• How long have you worked in real estate? You want a real estate agent with at least two years of experience selling real estate. However, if the Realtor has lived in the area for a long time, their local advantage outweighs the length of experience.
• Do you work with a team? Agents who work on their own are excellent, but it’s good to have the coverage of a team during busy real estate seasons. Even if your Realtor works on their own, they probably have a plan for back-up when they aren’t available.
• What’s the median price for the markets I want to buy or sell in? The answer to this question gives insight into how your Realtor evaluates market conditions.
How to choose a real estate agent for selling
These pointers will walk you through how to choose a listing real estate agent or how to choose a real estate agent for selling.
Listing agents work for the seller and are also known as seller’s agents. Listing or selling agents advise on the property price and how to prepare a home for a sale including improvements needed to get the highest price.
Seller’s agents market the property through listing services, networking and advertisements. In addition to asking prospective Realtors the interview questions listed above, pay special attention to the work completed for other homes and statistics like days on market and percentage of listing price achieved in the sale.
How to choose a real estate agent for buying
Agents who work for the buyer guide you through your home buying transaction and answer questions or concerns about the transaction and the property. They work to find a property that suits your desires and needs in a home. A good buyer’s agent searches for available properties that match your price range and wish list and shows you all available properties. These agents often look at past sales data on comparable properties to help prospective buyers come up with a fair bid. This person is involved in a decision you will live with for a long time, so it’s critical to learn how to choose a real estate agent for buying.
By Tom Kalinski. Tom is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at [email protected], call 303.441.5620 or visit boulderco.com.