When you are looking to buy a house, it’s a good idea to hire a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the area. A local realtor will have crucial information that an out-of-area realtor will not. You deserve to have all the facts about not just the home you are buying, but also the neighborhood in which it is located.
Reasons to work with a neighborhood realtor:
- Local realtors will know why some homes on the same street are worth more than others. They can determine accurate prices on specific homes in the neighborhood.
They know who previously owned homes in the neighborhood, and why they sold them.
They know which streets in a neighborhood are more desirable than others, and they know which streets may have undesirable neighbors who may influence value.
They know the listing agents in the area and can negotiate with them and get inside information. They can also advise you on which agents take overpriced listings and which take listings at market value.
They can refer you to local home inspectors, and they know if there are any inspections that should be performed that are specific to the area.
They know about home owner’s associations that may be in the neighborhood, and what their rules and regulations are.
If you are in the market to sell your home, Your First Step is to call a Realtor. One thing your real estate agent should do is explain to you the benefits of staging and preparing your home for sale. Your agent should also tell you the truth about how your home is prepared for market and tell you what you need to do to get the best price. Unfortunately, having a clean home ready to sell is not always good enough in the eyes of a buyer.
Recommendations aren’t everything. It is smart to get recommendations for a real estate agent to sell your home, for one bad real estate agents don’t get referred. However, you shouldn’t stop on someone’s recommendation. That should only be your first step. You really ought to talk to at least three agents and have them each to visit you and walk through your home. The prepared agent will bring information with them about recent comparable sales, will help you price your home, and they should suggest low-cost upgrades that will boost your home’s value and help it sell more quickly.
Start your home selling online. Chances are you already have if you found this website. You can get a good idea as to what homes are selling for in your area by snooping around property home search tools.
Talk to a lender if you are planning to buy a new home. You’ll want to have your housing plan figured out before you put your home on the market.
Find out if the real estate agent is a full time agent or not. Full time agents are more likely to be tuned in to what’s going on the market that will influence your home’s sales price than a part timer. Second, full time agents most likely have access to bigger networks of other real estate agents they can tap into to help get your home sold.
You may want to find out if the agents you are talking to have completed any specialized training or earned any industry designations such as: negotiating, working with first-time buyers, or selling green or historic homes. You might get a sense of their qualifications and expertise because typically you’ll see designations from industry organizations like the Graduate REALTOR Institute (GRI) or Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) from the National Association of REALTORS.
Not all agents are a good fit for your home. Some seller’s agents may concentrate on a particular type of home or price range. If your house doesn’t fall within that specialty or price range, that agent may not be qualified or motivated to show your home. The agent also may not have a ready pool of buyers looking for a home like yours.
Ask agents how they’d market your home. A good real estate agent will tell you the best way to market your home. Beware of agents who talk in generalities or brush you off with a “let me worry about the details” attitude. Get answers to basic questions: Will you hold open houses? If so, how often? Will you place ads in local newspapers or real estate websites and, if so, which ones are best suited for my home and why?