3 Tips for Choosing the Right Realtor
A good Realtor should be your right-hand-(wo)man!
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Buying or selling a house is a complicated process, and having a Realtor by your side is a good way to ensure that a professional has your best interest at heart. Here are some tips for finding a Realtor that is right for you.
1. Hire Someone You Trust and Like
This seems like common sense, but it’s very important to keep in mind. Many people look only at experience when choosing their Realtor, and while that’s important, it’s most important to choose someone you mesh well with. As a buyer or seller, you’ll be working closely with your Realtor, and you want to enjoy your interactions. You don’t want to buy a house you don’t like, so why would you work with a Realtor you don’t like?! Make sure your Realtor has similar goals to you: choose someone relatable. If you meet with a Realtor and things don’t feel like they’re going well, keep looking for a different one. Think of it like Realtor-dating because your Realtor will be your partner in the buying/selling process. (Some other tips from Realtors themselves can be found here!)
One very important thing to know in choosing a Realtor is that Realtors and real estate agents are not exactly the same thing. A real estate agent works with clients to buy and sell real estate. A Realtor can be a real estate agent, a management broker, an exclusive buyer’s-agent, or some other similar title, but the most important distinction is that a Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors. To be in the National Association of Realtors, one must ascribe to the Realtor Code of Ethics, which tries to ensure a high standard of practice. The first two, and most important rules in this code are as follows:
“#1) Pledge to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly.
#2) Shall refrain from exaggerating, misrepresenting, or concealing material facts; and is obligated to investigate and disclose when situations reasonably warrant.”
All of the partners at HER, REALTORS® are, as our name suggests, members of the National Association of Realtors. (To learn more about the National Association of Realtors and the Realtor Code of Ethics, more information can be found here.)
If you still don’t know where to start, asking friends and neighbors for referrals is always a good idea! A final set of notes on hiring a Realtor are: let your Realtors know you’re interviewing multiple candidates for the job, and don’t interview more than one candidate from a single firm. (Doing so can lead to some discomfort on your part and issues on their end.)
2) Buying and Selling are Not the Same
Most people are home buyers before they are home sellers, and the processes are very different because the end goal is different! When you’re looking to buy a home, you’re looking for a place that has both practical and emotional appeal, and you want a Realtor who can help you balance these needs. A good buying-agent should be able to present you with many different options and ideas that cover most of your preferences and goals. At the same time, your Buying-Agent Realtor will also be the liaison between you and the selling/listing-agent(s). They will ask questions and get in contact with people for you.
When selling, typically the goal is to maximize possible profit from the sale. To do this, you need a Realtor who is familiar with your area and houses like yours. They should help you with things like appraising your home, organizing it for tours and open houses, and finding potential buyers. This Realtor should be able to make your house look desirable, and this requires a good knowledge and grasp of home staging. This is what you do to make your house look as good as possible to potential buyers: things like removing and rearranging furniture, painting the walls, etc. Look at photos of the houses your Realtor has sold to get an idea of how they typically stage homes. This will give you a good idea of the styles they usually work with and will help you to see if they’re a good fit for you.
3) Communication is Key
Your Realtors want you to be happy! If you’re dissatisfied with something, communicate that to your Realtor in a professional, respectful way, and they will probably try to accommodate you in any way they can. Establish early on how often you expect to communicate with your Realtor: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc. and via what means (phone call, email, even text messages and more).
If a Realtor is the right person for you, they will make the process of buying or selling a home much easier for you. While these tips aren’t comprehensive, they’re a good starting point for what you should consider when looking for a Realtor.
Looking to buy a home? Check out Everything You Need to Know About Home Buying in Columbus OH!