Whether you're a first-time buyer, selling your current home or relocating to a different part of the country, the support of a qualified, knowledgeable real estate agent can alleviate many of your concerns and ensure a smooth transaction. A professional agent can market your present residence, help you locate the home of your dreams and assist in making your transfer to an unfamiliar area easier.
To find a trained broker, you may need to look no further than your own neighborhood or home town. A well-established brokerage may be involved in many listings and sales, which is a good sign. Set up appointments to "interview" agents and brokers much like an employer world interview a prospective employee. Inquire about their training, marketing programs and specific service policies. Ask for references, and check them out.
Your goal is to determine just how knowledgeable the agents are. Question them on financing, closing costs and/or local market conditions, depending on whether you're a prospective home buyer or seller, to determine their expertise. If they know their stuff, they should be able to answer your questions effortlessly.
If you're selling your home, learn what they will do if you decide to list with them. How do they plan to market your home? Will they provide you with a market analysis to help you determine the most effective listing price for your property? Will they supply regular progress reports and assist with negotiations once you've received offers?
If you are relocating to a different part of the country, is your agent connected with a national relocation service that will not only expose your present property to incoming transferees, but assist with your search for a new house?
Ask for a written guarantee that everything promised will be delivered. The CENTURY 21 organization, for example, backs its listings with the CENTURY 21 Seller Service Pledge. This 11-point written commitment covers everything from furnishing the seller with a marketing plan to monitoring pre-settlement activities throughout the closing process. It also gives the seller the right to terminate the listing if the pledge is not fulfilled.
A qualified real estate agent should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with quality service that is courteous and responsible. Finding the right person may take time and patience, buy when purchasing or selling a home, the selection of a dependable agent is well worth your time.