5 Things You Need to Know When Choosing a Realtor
Buying a house, selling a house, or just thinking of doing either often requires the help of a realtor. This seems simple enough; after all, the faces of realtors are plastered on bus benches all over town. Still, finding a realtor and finding a good realtor are very different things. Before you hire anyone, there are certain things you need to look for specifically. Consider hiring the following:
1. Someone You're Comfortable With: There are certain professions where trust is of the utmost importance. Lawyers, doctors, and stock brokers, for instance, all must be trusted by their clients. Included in this list is realtors. A good realtor is someone who you know will do his or her best for you. There should be nothing shady about them, they should have a proven track record, and they should have a demeanor that makes you comfortable. If you can't voice your concerns and desires to your realtor in a candid manner, you better get a new one.
2. Someone Local: California might be filled with some of the most well known, most effective realtors in the business. But, if you are looking for a place in Idaho, no California realtor should be hired. You want a realtor who knows the area like the back of his hand: he knows what school districts are good, he knows the best hospitals, he knows the neighborhoods that are up-and-coming and those that are laden with crime. Hiring a realtor who knows his stuff helps you know you're getting the best service.
3. Someone Who Wants What you Want: Realtors work on commission and this can lead to them pushing you towards a more expensive house when the cheaper one would suffice. They are, after all, salespeople. If your realtor appears to be trying to make a big sale, or seems to be trying to get you to buy something you don't really want, he's not being a very good realtor. A realtor who asks you questions, and focuses solely on what you want, however, is a realtor worth keeping.
4. Someone Working Full Time: These days, it seems that almost everyone and their mom is a realtor. Some people do this for supplemental income, some do it as a hobby, and some do it as a full time job. The latter group is often the most effective. By hiring a full time realtor, you help assure that their search for your new home is full time as well.
5. Someone Who Doesn't Have a Million and One Clients to Also Serve: Zealous realtors are good: they are eager, they are aggressive, and they are dedicated. Overzealous ones, however, might compromise their effectiveness by having more clients than they can count. This doesn't mean you should be your realtor's sole client, but if he is too busy to give you attention and show you houses, or you have a personal relationship with his answering machine, you might want to upgrade to a realtor who hasn't downgraded his clientele.