My father always told me that the three most important necessities in life are Clothing, Food and Shelter. Obtaining any of these requires an individual’s personal preferences and tastes. The third of the necessities, Shelter, or better known as ‘a home’ takes more than just knowing what you like and don’t like. If there was a one-size-fits-all approach to finding a home then we would go and buy one at Costco. However, this is not as easy a process as it seems and finding the right home can be unpredictable and rather tedious at the best of times. Having someone you relate with and trust to guide you through this process is very important. On average, most home buyers start off their research online and then they look to their family and friends for referrals of a good Real estate agent. This is extremely important to the process as the real estate agent is the vital cog in the wheel that brings all the parties together, facilitates information and makes the whole process run like clockwork. In an ideal world the agent would find you a house (or sell your home) with the greatest of ease and minimal amounts of stress. Everyone would arrive at the closing table with happy expressions on their faces and a very sound night’s sleep. However, for this happy ending to occur it is imperative that your agent has the knowledge and foresight to anticipate any potential issues that may arise and navigate you through the process smoothly. So what are the qualities of a good real estate agent?
Is it easy to get hold of your Realtor? Are they full time or are they perhaps moonlighting with another day job? Making sure that the client can get hold of the real estate agent at any time (within reason) is very important to reducing client’s stress levels. Being able to ‘nip problems in the bud’ by answering the phone when the problems occur can save a lot of stress all round. Does your agent have a smartphone? This may sound obvious but there are many agents out there who use old technology and are out of the loop when an email arrives (until they go to their inbox of their email program and check it there by which time the problem or issue might have gotten ten times worse).
Your agent is the guide who will support you through the whole house buying or selling process by interpreting situations and advising on them accordingly. It is not every day that you buy a house so your agent is your eyes and ears in this process and you are relying in his or her knowledge and experience to guide you through this process by the hand.
This may be your first home purchase or sale, or not, but making sure the agent explains the process and tells you what to expect next is extremely important. If one of your expectations should be unmet then your agent should be able to communicate this beforehand to explain why this need has gone unmet and what can be done to rectify the situation. Also, a Realtor should keep you posted of their whereabouts- if they go away for the weekend and are out of contact they should keep you informed of this. Nothing worse than trying to get hold of your Realtor and he or she is not there because they have gone on vacation and not told you about this!
Your agent should have foresight and experience. The longer the agent has been in the business the more experience they are likely to have and will be able to anticipate situations as and when they arise. This can’t be underestimated as an important factor. For example, when the results of an inspection arrive the agent should be able to discern which points inspector has highlighted are important and which are not worth worrying about. The same goes for interpreting the appraisals and being able to advise you on accuracy and quality of comparable properties the appraiser has used. Appraisal is very subjective and being able to interpret these takes experience and knowledge on your Realtor’s behalf.
It is very easy to have the wool pulled over your eyes in real estate. You have perhaps worked with one other Realtor in your life and perhaps never worked with a Realtor before. There are many sales pitches that real estate agents use and knowing that the Realtor has your best interests at heart is extremely important. Get the Realtor to show you what he or she has been doing on your behalf. Good agents will have a record of what they have been doing on your behalf and will willingly share this with you. Finding out that your Realtor you have chosen is not as honest as you thought is a painful process and the best thing you can do is to find another one straight away!