Finding The Realtor For You
Buying your first home can be intimidating, but finding a realtor that is right for you can add onto an already stressful situation. Take the time to research real estate agents in your area before you settle on one.
When looking for an agent, you should not only seek out the positives, but you should also ask yourself if they give off any “red flags.”
A lot of first time home buyers are eager to get into their first home and are quick to jump the gun, but pointing out these “red flags” in the beginning can save you a headache in the long run.
Here are some tips on how to narrow down your search pool:
- Talk with recent clients.
Ask your prospective agents for a list of recent listings and the contact information for the clients. Ask questions like “What was the original asking price and what did it end up selling for?” and ask how long their home was on the market before it sold. This will tell you how quickly the agent is turning over their listings.
- Look up their licensing.
Every state has a license and disciplinary board. Check this out to see if your agent has had any complaints or disciplinary actions brought up against them.
- Pick a winner.
Check to see if your prospective agents have been given awards such as “Realtor of the Year” by their state or their local branch. This means they are the best according to their peers.
- Make sure they have the right credentials.
Real estate agents can specialize just as doctors can, so extra letters after an agent’s name means they have taken extra classes to get certified in a specialization. Here are some specializations to look for:
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): This means they have taken extra classes to be certified in residential real estate.
- ABR ( Accredited Buyer’s Representative): The agent has specialized in handling buyers in transactions.
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): This means that the agent has specialized in helping buyers and sellers in the 50+ range.
- Find out how long the agent has been in business.
The licensing authority in every state can tell you how long an agent has been selling real estate or you can directly ask the agent. If they have been selling for less than 5 years they are most likely still learning.
- Look at the current listings that the agent has posted.
Check for things like does the agent have enough listings for a “healthy” business. Are they in the same area as you? Are they in the same price range?
- Ask them about other houses for sale near you.
A good agent will know nearby listings off the top of their head. See if they know any details about listings in the area that have recently sold. This will show that they are on top of the market.
- Avoid any agent that wants to sell your house for the highest price possible. Buyers will not look at your house and it will sit on the market.
- Find a FULL-TIME realtor. You need someone who can give you 100% of their attention and is actively looking at the market.
- Do not pick your relative as your realtor. They may truly be great at what they do, but to avoid family conflicts just don’t do it.
- If they don’t typically work with the real estate you are looking for and the price range you have set, they aren’t the realtor for you. They might be really good at selling $10 million dollar condos, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are really good at selling $200,000 first-time homes.
- Your realtor should know how to talk the talk and by that I mean they should know how to negotiate your home until they are blue in the face. A poor negotiator won’t make sure your home has all the things it needs before you move in.
Are you ready to jump into the real estate market in Omaha? Give The Fairfield Team a call today and we can get to work for you!