Many people give little thought to their realtor when they are buying or selling a home. When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, there are some dos and don’ts. Here are some things to look out for among realtors.
If you’re selling your home, don’t choose the agent who suggests the highest listing price. Have your home value appraised by at least three agents. They are all looking at the same building and the same data, so they should be able to come up with similar figures. A member of an experienced real estate team should know what similar homes in similar neighborhoods have been sold for, so their figures should be most accurate.
If you price your home too high at the beginning, it is likely that it will take longer to sell, and the price will continue to be brought down. The longer a home sits on the market, the more likely potential buyers will thing something is wrong with it. More reasonably priced homes will attract more potential buyers, and result in more competitive offers, giving you the ability to increase your asking price.
Don’t choose an agent who only does works in real estate on the side. You want to buy or sell with someone who actively looks at the housing market every day and is well in-touch with the area industry, not someone who is looking to make extra cash.
Someone who is a part-time realtor is also less likely to be in contact with you when you need to ask a question or have any concerns.
- Do not work with someone who is not familiar with the neighborhood. If they have never worked with a buyer or seller in a specific area, they are not fully immersed in its details. School districts, heat and energy providers, area taxes, neighborhood temperament, as well as many more things are extremely important factors for a realtor to know during the buying process. If they don’t know, then you will have a tougher time finding exactly what you want.
- Do not work with a relative who happens to be a real estate agent. Unless they are the only full-time agent who is familiar with the neighborhood you are buying or selling in, you can easily find someone else. Working closely with a relative can foster feelings of resentment and send your process off-course.
- Don’t hire an agent who charges low commission. While it sounds like a good idea to bargain on commission, know that it means that less agents will show your home. Commissions usually range from 5-7% in most areas, and are split between buying and selling agents. If you are confident that your agent can be both, it is fine to negotiate the commission, but this not a likely scenario.