Whether buying or selling a house, hiring a professional real estate agent can help you avoid costly mistakes and ease the entire real estate process. From listing your home for sale to touring potential houses, your agent can help you during every step.
However, not just any real estate agent will do. You need an agent who knows the local market and has the knowledge necessary to sell your house for top dollar or land you the home of your dreams. Therefore, here are a few tips on how to find a real estate agent that suits your needs.
Before you start your hunt for the right real estate agent, you need to understand a few basics of the real estate world. In short, a real estate agent is a licensed professional that helps people buy or sell real estate. The agent may represent either buyers or sellers and is often paid a commission once the deal is done. Below are how agents differ from other professionals in their industry.
Real estate agent vs. broker
Where a real estate agent works with buyers or sellers directly, a real estate broker is licensed to work independently and typically employs other agents. Brokers are also paid on commission; however, they may also take a cut from the agents who work for them.
Real estate agent vs. realtor
Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and can either be an agent or a broker. Since all realtors are bound by the Realtor’s Code of Ethics, consumers can report agents who do not follow the code.
Buyer’s agent vs. seller’s agent
In the world of real estate, a buyer’s agent is hired by a homebuyer in the market for a house. In contrast, a seller’s agent, known as a listing agent, helps the seller during all the steps of the home-selling process. Both buyer and seller agents can either be real estate agents or realtors.
How to find a real estate agent
What is their level of experience?
Finding a real estate agent starts by interviewing multiple agents to determine their experience level. Obviously, the more experienced an agent is, the more they can serve your best interests. To determine an agent’s experience level, look at the number of clients they have helped and the types of properties they have managed. However, remember that the more experienced agents often have a higher commission rate.
What is their commission rate?
On average, real estate agents throughout the nation typically take a commission that ranges between 3 to 6 percent. In fact, according to data, the national average for commission in 2022
was 5.37 percent. While the exact number ranges between states and cities, you can expect your agent to be within that range of commission.
What are their reviews from past clients like?
A great way of assessing the skill level of a real estate agent is by reading reviews from past clients. If an agent has stellar reviews from a number of clients, then chances are good that the agent is worth your time.
What to look for in a buyer’s agent
They’ll help you find homes in your price range
One of the best tips for finding a real estate agent is to look for someone who will consider your needs. One of the biggest needs most buyers face is sticking to their budget. An agent worth your time will look for homes in your price range and won’t try to break your budget in order to make a bigger commission.
They’ll negotiate with sellers to get you a better price
Real estate agents must have solid negotiating skills if they wish to do their job properly. If an agent isn’t good at negotiating, they aren’t worth your time. You want an agent that’ll step up, analyze the situation, and negotiate the entire deal with the seller and their agent.
They’ll set realistic expectations regarding home availability and competition
A real estate agent worth your time won’t sugarcoat the local market. If the state of the current market doesn’t favor buyers, your agent should tell you the truth and come up with solutions to lessen that gap. The same goes for the amount of competition in the area.
What to look for in a seller’s agent
They’ll help you market your home
Any listing agent worth your time will know all the available tools to increase the value of your home and properly list it on the market. Both agents and realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), an online database of real estate properties. The MLS is a valuable tool that broadcasts to a wide range of audiences; however, only real estate professionals can list properties on it.
They’ll tell you what improvements to make to your home
Making improvements to a home before listing it on the market can significantly increase its value and lead to a higher sale. An experienced agent will know which improvements to make, such as updating a property’s curb appeal or fixing leaky pipes, and which improvements are not worth it, such as knocking out walls to open up rooms. In short, since big, costly improvements rarely pay off, if an agent suggests making these types of updates, they are likely not well-seasoned.
They’ll choose a realistic listing price for your home
Setting a realistic listing price is one of the most important aspects of selling a house. The right real estate agent will know what price to list your house for and why. Typically, agents look at comparable houses for sale in the nearby area to determine the correct asking price.
Still need help on how to find a real estate agent? Look no further than The Corio Group
. For years, this group of professional agents has helped buyers and sellers with all of their real estate needs. From listing homes on the market to closing on deals, this skilled team has the knowledge and experience needed to help you in every step of the process. Specializing in Bay Area neighborhoods like Walnut Creek
and Pleasant Hill
, if you’re ready to buy or sell a house, contact
the Corio Group today.