What Does a Real Estate Agent Really Do?
Ask yourself, would you represent yourself in a court case? Would you re-wire the electricity in your home by yourself? If you're a licensed lawyer or electrician you may have said yes; but otherwise, most people will choose to consult a professional. The real estate world is no different and is one of the most expensive transactions of your entire life, so why would you take a chance on such an important purchase?
Many people, if asked, will explain that a real estate agent hosts open houses and showings; and maybe help to advise on staging and home maintenance for those getting ready to sell. While those things are true, they're only a fraction of the bigger picture of a professional real estate agent's job. Good agents know what home buyers are expecting in the current market and prepare their clients in terms of marketing, staging, financing, typical concessions, etc. Alternatively, they'll also know what sellers want in the current market and can prepare with buyers to get better terms on their purchase.
Real estate agents have good working relationships with other professional real estate agents. This gives them a network of other like-minded individuals right at their fingertips to strategize or consult when specific or opposing proposals may arise. An experienced agent will know the sale process inside and out and all phases of the transaction: marketing, drafting offers, negotiations, inspections, closing (escrow) process, closing and post-closing concerns.
Here are a few quick tips on how to choose an agent:
1. Ask friends and family for referrals! If someone you know had a happy and successful experience don’t be afraid to ask them for the name of their agent.
2. Research your potential agent's website and social media presence for testimonials, experience, qualifications, etc.
3. Interview more than one agent! Ask them questions about their experience, their brokerage, and what marketing they'll plan to use to help sell your home; or what tools they'll use to help find your next home.
4. Don't go with the cheapest option. Discount realtors who work for very little commission aren't always the most motivated or experienced and that can cost you in the long-run.
5. Don't hire out of obligation. If you have a friend or family member who is an agent it can be tough to turn them down, but you should be choosing your agent based on their qualifications and experience.
Ready to chat about buying or selling? Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions you might have regarding the process.
Read more about this subject here: What a Real Estate Agent Really Does and How to Find the Right One for You.