Tips for Finding a Helpful Realtor

Finding a Realtor is an important step when you are trying to sell your home. Putting your home on the market as “for sale by owner” with no Realtor will make it much more difficult to sell. A professional Realtor will know exactly how to help you market your home and sell it quickly at a fair price. Although not always necessary, it is also beneficial to talk to a professional Realtor or purchasing agent if you are trying to buy a home. When you are trying to find a Realtor for the first time you must start by familiarizing yourself with the qualities that define a professional realtor, such as proper certification and a proven reputation. By using the tips below when you are attempting to locate and interview local Realtors you will be able to quickly identify a Realtor who can assist you.

Know What Defines a Realtor

The real estate industry consists of agents, brokers and certified realtors. Realtors are official members of the National Association of Realtors. NAR members are required to adhere to specific standards. You can choose to hire a real estate agent instead of a realtor, but the real estate agent in question may or may not adhere to those same NAR requirements. Real estate agents and brokers often work for larger real estate companies, which may be headed by officially certified Realtors. However, some real estate agents work independently.

Familiarize Yourself with Real Estate Terms

When selecting a realtor or real estate agent you must also have a basic understanding of terms relating to real estate. For example, an ABR is a realtor or real estate agent who is an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. That certification will mean nothing to you if you are selling a home instead of buying one. A CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) will be more useful to you because that certification means that the Realtor specializes in residential realty as opposed to commercial realty.

Only Interview Local Realtors

Limiting your realtor search to your local area is essential because only local Realtors can fully understand the area. A local Realtor will be able to tell you things about the neighborhood housing market and general features of the area that a Realtor living several towns over may not know. The inside information provided by a local Realtor can prevent you from encountering unpleasant surprises when buying or selling a home.

Interview More Than One Realtor

Do not assume that the first realtor you talk to will be the best, even if the realtor is local or comes highly recommended from a friend or family member. Interviewing more than one realtor will allow you to compare your options and quickly identify any weaknesses in the realtors on your short list. Make notes about each realtor you interview so that you can easily compare your notes later.

Read Realtor Reviews Online

Never take a realtor’s word at face value, no matter how many years he claims to have been in business or what credentials he produces. Read online Realtor reviews on unbiased websites to get a more complete picture of each Realtor’s capabilities and history. While reading online Realtor reviews, keep in mind that people typically review bad business transactions more than good business transactions. Therefore, a lack of reviews may be in a Realtor’s favor. However, in such cases you must do additional research to verify the Realtor’s history and reputation before making a final decision.

Investigate Each Realtor’s Existing Online Listings

After you have narrowed your choices down to a short list of two to four Realtors, go online and view all their real estate listings. Viewing current online listings for a realtor will help you to develop a sense of how that Realtor would list your home on the market. If you are unimpressed by a Realtor’s current listings or the current listings seem to have been on the market for a long time, then you can take that Realtor off your list and choose to do business with a different Realtor instead.

Ask the Realtors You Interview Many Questions

Regardless of how good a Realtor’s reputation is, you must ultimately be completely comfortable with your Realtor because you will have to work with him or her closely for an unknown period. To build trust with your chosen Realtor you should question him or her about each step of the process, regardless of whether you are buying or selling a home. The questions you ask can help you to stay informed and gauge your Realtor’s knowledge and experience level. If a Realtor has difficulty answering basic questions for you then he or she may not be experienced enough to meet your needs.