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How to Hire the Right Realtor
RE/MAX Genesis
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 • Posted March 25, 2008 10:00 PM

Whether you are buying or selling property, choosing the right real estate agent is an important step in the process. If you plan to sell your home, you need to find a Realtor who will be the most effective in marketing your home. If you are looking to purchase, it’s important to find someone who knows the area. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. You also must find someone who matches your communications style – someone you feel comfortable with. There are many other factors that go into finding the right agent Realtor, and considering them will help you feel more secure in your decision.

Don’t stop at one

This is not a rule of thumb, only a suggestion. But according to a study by the National Association of Realtors, many consumers spoke to only one agent before deciding to work with him or her. Of course, you may be comfortable with the very first agent you talk to, but it never hurts to consider several before making a choice. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Reputation goes a long way in the real estate industry. And what better way to know the reputation of a Texas Realtor than to ask someone who has worked with one?

If you are new to an area and find it difficult to rely on word-of-mouth, interview several Realtors. Here are some questions you might consider asking:

• How many years have you been in the business?

• Do you have any special designations or areas of expertise?

• How do you communicate with your clients?

• What type of marketing tactics do you typically use to sell a home? Virtual tours? Color fliers?

• Do you have experience selling my particular type of property?

• Can you supply a list of references?

And when it comes to references, don’t just ask for the list. Call the names on it. Other things that may be important to you might include the agent’s knowledge of downpayment assistance programs or programs geared to first-time homebuyers. But these are just a few questions to get you started. Depending on your position as a buyer or seller, you can ask questions tailored to that particular process.

Don’t be impulsive

What if you have a friend who is an agent? I don’t recommend allowing the friendship alone to steer your decision. Your friend will understand that you are making a tough business decision. As a seller, it’s also important to not be swayed by the first presentation you see. Look at more than one listing presentation. Compare the advantages and disadvantages. You will typically contract to list your home with one agent for a period of time, so don’t make hasty decisions.

Communication is key

Agent-client communication is key to a successful transaction. You will likely spend a lot of time with this agent, so it’s important that you find one who you are comfortable with and who is responsive to your needs. The levels of service and communication vary dramatically across this highly competitive industry, so figure out what you’re looking for from the beginning.

You may not want to work with an agent who relies more on e-mail than phone and vice versa. Or maybe you’d rather find someone who uses hi-tech communication exchange, such as text messaging or IM. Whatever it is that you want, find a Realtor who meets that need.

Educate yourself

While your Texas Realtor is a real estate expert, it really helps if you have a basic understanding of the process. Not only will you make better decisions, but you will also get some piece of mind knowing exactly what was on that huge document that required your signature so many times. Look over each form and contract closely. Don’t skim it. Read it. If there is something in it that you do not understand, ask. If you don’t hear an answer that makes sense to you, keep asking until you do. Some people think they chose the wrong Realtor simply because they do not understand the basics of the process. You can avoid this by matching communication needs and styles and asking questions.

One of the most important questions to ask is whether that real estate agent is a Texas Realtor. Not all agents are. Agents who are Realtors adhere to a strict code of ethics. This ensures that you receive the highest levels of professionalism and integrity throughout the homebuying or selling process. For more information on buying or selling property in Texas, I invite you to visit TexasRealEstate.com.

For services, contact RE/MAX Genesis at 830-833-2000 or lightfoot@moment.net.

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