How do you recognize a real estate agent? Most people imagine them wearing a suit with a name badge on and talking endlessly on the cell phone.
There are many unknowns about this profession, though, such as the difference between a REALTOR® and a real estate agent or choosing between a dual and a single real estate agency. Or would you be better doing things by yourself instead of calling to the services of a real estate agent?
Working with a Real Estate Agent
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, the cause may be lack of information. Real estate agents often fail to educate the public about their profession and until you find the right agent for you, chances are you’ll be going through several disappointing experiences.
It’s time to stop believing in myths and find out exactly what working with a real estate agent is!
Why hire a real estate agent
Here are just a few reasons to hire a real estate agent instead of doing the job by yourself: saving time, getting someone with more education and experience in the field, being provided with accurate market conditions information, enjoying excellent negotiation skills, and benefiting from professional networking.
Finding a real estate agent
The most reliable sources are asking for referrals from satisfied clients, looking for online agent listings, attending open houses, checking for real estate ads and paying attention to listing signs in your neighborhood.
How to choose a real estate agent
Here are some questions you should ask:
- For how long have you been working as a real estate agent?
- What strategy do you have in plan for my needs?
- Can you negotiate a sale price that is very close to the list price?
- What makes you better than your competitors?
- What are your references?
- Can I review documents before being asked to sign?
- What guarantee do you offer?
- What is your real estate agent fee?
What your real estate agent cannot do for you
There are some expectations a real estate agent can’t meet, partly because they are against the law. For instance, they can’t tell you what a neighborhood’s ethnic composition is and they can’t guarantee that your children will be accepted at a certain school in the district. Moreover, they can’t provide crime statistics from the area or use words such as “bachelor apartment” or “golden agers”.
How can you fire your agent?
There are various reasons why clients reach their boiling point because of a real estate agent: they are repeatedly ignoring your requests, they are hard to reach, or they fail to produce any results. When signing a contract with a real estate agent, make sure they will agree to a release on your request. If you decide to cancel the listing, first ask the agent. If the agent refuses, call the agent’s broker. The last solution is getting termination assistance from a real estate lawyer.
Can you negotiate real estate commissions?
Don’t be afraid to ask – a good real estate agent shouldn’t mind your request. They are more likely to accept discounts when they face competition from another agent. Nevertheless, remember that you get what you pay for, so at times it’s better to pay a higher price and be provided with high-quality service instead of saving money and ending up dissatisfied with your real estate agent. Paying for premium services can eventually help you save thousands of dollars.
What is dual agency?
A dual agency is when the same agent represents both you and the buyer. In some states, this is not even legal, and you may not want to seek this type of solution, as oftentimes the agent cannot represent well the interests of both parties.
Are agents with multiple listings the best choice?
Not necessarily. Having multiple listings open may suggest they are not efficient and that they have little time for each client, anyway. Unless they are working in a team, avoid agents with multiple listings.
Should you hire a very successful real estate agent?
The answer depends on the results you want to achieve. One thing, though: well-known agents may pass you to a junior agent after signing the contract, so make sure you know who will do the actual work for you.
Is it a good idea to overestimate your property’s listing price?
Many agents attract their clients by setting a huge selling price and thus suggesting them the house will sell very well. The truth is that not choosing a realistic price will cause your property to sit on the market for a very long time.
Today’s real estate market is tough, and it’s easy to lose money because of common misconceptions or minimum-service agents. Once you are aware of legal aspects and become familiar with real estate agents selling tips, you’ll be able to make informed decisions and enjoy the best results.
What should I do now?
Great question! Whether or you’re ready or not to buy or sell your home, or rent a property, we would like to help you.