An Insider’s Guide to Choosing the Best Real Estate Agent…

Hey, it’s Ash – here to help with all your real estate dilemmas. 🙂

My blog’s the place where I answer some of the big questions – you know the ones, the type of questions that you can literally lose sleep over – yep, we’re talking those questions.

But first up, here’s a question for you

Are you a billionaire with a mega $’s Wall Street portfolio?

No?

In that case a real estate deal is likely to be the biggest transaction you ever handle in your life! Get this right and your next home could be your dream home. So, no ifs, no buts – you need to make sure you’re working with a tip-top real estate agent. Here’s my guide to help you choose…

First, Let’s Learn the Lingo!

Most people don’t understand the differences between a ‘Buyer’s Agent’, ‘Listing Agent’, ‘Seller’s Agent’, and ‘Selling Agent’ – and if you’re one of those people, then choosing the right agent will be a whole lot tougher! So, here’s the low-down:

Back in the ‘good old days’ there were two types of agents – listing agents and selling agents… The listing agent would deal with the seller, and list the property, while the selling agent was responsible for selling the house to buyers (no sh*t Sherlock!)

But both agents typically represented the seller’s interests… Simple, but oh-so unfair!

Nowadays, it’s recognized that buyers need representation from a pro who acts in their best interests too…

Enter the Buyer’s Agent!

So now, the seller is represented by the seller’s agent (who’s still sometimes called the listing agent), and the buyer is represented by the buyer’s agent (who’s still sometimes called the selling agent – which is OK, just so long as you remember that the seller’s agent and the selling agent are totally different!)

BTW – I won’t judge if you need to read that last section back again ‘till it all sinks in! 😉

Always Keep it Local!

Knowledge is power, and a local agent is best placed to know the ins ‘n’ outs of the real estate market in your area…

A local seller’s agent will have their finger on the pulse when it comes to value – and that’s a big deal, because if you price too high you’ll just end up with your house on the market for months, but price too low and you might get a fast sale – but you’ll be leaving plenty of $’s on the table! 🙁

Local’s best for buyers too – not only will a local buyer’s agent have the best contacts (yep – I’m thinking of those hush-hush deals that go through without even hitting the MLS.), but they’ll also be best placed to flag up juicy bargains, or warn you off of deals where the seller’s asking top dollar for a bargain-basement home!

Ask the Right Questions!

Don’t be shy about giving your would-be agent a grilling! Turn up the heat by asking:

1) What are your qualifications?

2) How long have you been in business?

3) How many deals have you closed in the last month?

4) What’s your percentage? (Pro tip: Cheaper isn’t always better, but make sure you know upfront so you can weigh all your options!)

Personality Matters!

OK, so you don’t have to marry your agent, but ‘getting on’ counts for a lot in business – so let’s make sure this is someone you’re comfortable dealing with…

Your agent should make time for you, and give you their attention when you’re together. Whether you’re buying or selling, your agent should show they care about understanding your needs.

The best real estate agents need to be firm sometimes too…

If your agent criticizes your dream price, or tells you that you’re expecting way too much from your house search, they might be a massive pessimist who you could do without in your life, or they might be telling you what you need, instead of just what you want to hear. #toughlove!

Where to Look for a Real Estate Agent

One of the best things about real estate agents is that they’re not all that hard to find…

For sellers, working out which agent does the most business in your area can be as simple as counting the boards. (Insider tip: ‘Sold’ boards count for a lot more than ‘For Sale’ boards!)

But whether you’re buying or selling, the number 1, simply-can’t-beat-it way to choose an agent is a word-of-mouth referral from someone you trust. If your friend, neighbor, partner, parent, sibling, or boyfriend’s cousin’s aunt (twice removed) had a great experience with their agent, then there’s a good chance you will too!

And don’t forget, if you can’t decide on the perfect pro to move forward your sale or house hunt, then rumor has it that this woman really knows her stuff! 😉

‘Till next time, loads of love,

Ash!

*Click here to find out how we can work together…

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