If you believe a property will sell for the same price no matter who represents you, a professional, experienced Realtor will forever change your mind. I promise you, not all Realtors achieve the same results.
Consider the following:
- The requirements for obtaining a real estate license consists of six classes, a test and finding a sponsoring broker.
- Consumers’ experience with the real estate process is often once every five, 10, 15 years or more. Their lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with the process leaves them vulnerable.
- There are hundreds of factors that can influence a property’s value and the outcome of a real estate transaction including improperly filled out legal forms, title issues, restrictions, permits, property defects, appraisals, repairs, inspections of well, septic, termite, house, lead based paint and swimming pools, negotiations, market factors, flood plains, future development nearby, zoning and so much more.
- Real Estate is often the most valuable asset we’ll ever own and its performance can affect our financial future, our budget for future investments, our retirement and even our children’s college fund. Your real estate investments should be handled by an experienced professional, similar to what you expect from your financial advisor.
Here are some guidelines to help you choose an agent who will provide the best care for your largest investment.
- Find out how many classes they’ve taken and how long they’ve been licensed on TREC.com. I would look for designations such as GRI, CRS, ABR, CNE, etc. These require hours of additional education beyond what’s required for licensing and can indicate an agent’s commitment to learning and self improvement.
- Ask them how many transactions they’ve managed in the last year and in their career. A Realtor can successfully navigate the thousands of issues that arise in a transaction when they’ve had thousands of hours of experience doing so.
- See how their results compare to other sales in the same neighborhood. Were they able to get their seller’s the highest price per sq foot in the community? What were they able to negotiate on behalf of their buyers that other Realtors couldn’t?
- How do their listings look when brought to market? You need only look at the sale prices in your own neighborhood to see that homes sell for a variety of prices and this is for a variety of reasons – most of the time it’s related to the buyer’s impression of the property, both on line and in person.
- Find out if they know your neighborhood. The Realtors’ Code of Ethics states we will not practice outside of our area of expertise, including geographical. I’ve had agents unfamiliar with septic systems let their buyer purchase my listings without getting the septic system inspected. We’ve all seen listings with the wrong schools, or advertising greenbelt adjacent when it’s actually an undeveloped, commercially-zoned property.
- Read their testimonials. Are they recent, are there many, can you contact their clients directly to ask more questions about their experience?
Often, a buyer and seller’s greatest expense is the money they unknowingly leave on the table. The value a professional, experienced Realtor brings is worth far more than a discount from an inexperienced or unprofessional Realtor.