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How To Find The Right Realtor ®
Purchasing and selling a home takes a lot of work. For buyers, polishing your credit, amassing a down payment, and making an offer is just the icing on the cake. For sellers, organizing and cleaning your home, choosing the right listing price, and making your home available and show-worthy for showings and open houses is only half the battle. Whether you're a buyer or seller, you'll need a trusted local professional to help you get into your dream home with as little stress and chaos as possible. A buyer's agent will filter through homes every day to help you focus on true potentials, help you find the best mortgage, and will defend your best interests from the moment you hire them to the moment you close on your dream home. A listing agent will help you choose the right price to sell your home and implement a strong marketing plan that will get your house sold as quickly as possible on terms that are more than satisfactory. A great agent can make a world of difference! Here's how to find one who will have your back throughout your real estate journey.
The first thing you may notice while searching for your agent is the titles. You'll mostly see "Agent", "Broker", and "Realtor ® ".
Real Estate Agent A real estate agent is a person who earned a license to sell real estate, which requires - in New York State - passing a 75-hour course and then passing a state exam.
Real Estate Broker A real estate broker is an agent who furthered their education in real estate and can hire real estate agents to work under them.
REALTOR ® A REALTOR ® is either an agent or a broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors ® . Realtors adhere to a detailed code of ethics to treat their clients honestly and fairly. Consider it added insurance that they're committed to your interests.
After searching online through Realtor.com's Realtor search or getting a recommended agent from a friend or family member, you'll want to ask the agent a few questions to ensure they're the right agent for you. Here are a few to bring to your meeting.
How long have you lived in this area? You want an agent who is experienced in the area. When comparing a newly licensed agent who grew up in the area to an agent who has been licensed for 20 years but only just moved to the area, the amount of time they've been licensed does not matter much. Make sure your agent knows the area well.
Do you have a team or do you work alone? A single agent may not have the time needed to serve you the way you should be during this process. A team may also be so busy with other listings and buyers that they won't have the time to dedicate to you. Ask about their current load and how they plan to look out for your interests. You don't want to hire an agent who doesn't have time for you.
What is your schedule? This question is to discover if your schedules will match up. If you are a seller, this may not be a concern. However, as a buyer if you are only available to see homes after 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and the agent is only available during the mornings and afternoons Monday through Friday, this may be a conflict. After all, you don't want to miss out on your dream home just because your agent isn't available to show it to you in time.
Do you have any vacations planned? This ties into the schedule discussion. If the agent is planning on taking a two-week vacation, this could lose you your dream home or lose you an offer on your home. However, if the agent is part of a team, then he or she should offer to have another agent on their team show you homes during your agent's vacation.
What are your goals this year? A good agent has goals. They are motivated and dedicated to helping people buy and sell homes. If they have no goals this could translate into a lack of care or commitment. With that said, not every agent sets goals and this is not necessarily a bad thing. The goal for you is to know how dedicated your agent is to help you buy or sell your home.
What would your clients say about you? You could also ask for testimonials from the agent's past clients or look for reviews online. This will give you a sense of what it's like to have the agent working for you.
What about the commission?
Sellers Commission for agents is typically 6% in New York. Of course, the commission is negotiable and normally paid to the agents at Closing. The commission is split between your listing agent and the buyer's agent. Your agent will work tirelessly to get you the most money for your home and earn their commission.
Buyers Commission will be paid by the seller's party at Closing. Your agent is basically working for you for free until Closing.
Your agent should be committed to representing you and your interests over their own. They should keep regular communication with you, and you should trust your agent. If an agent's demeanor rubs you the wrong way, you don't need to hire them. Take the time to interview agents and choose the one who best fits what you need. To schedule your personalized, free consultation with one of our trusted buyer agents or our listing agent, call us today at (315)701-6996.