For most of us it’s the biggest financial transaction we will ever be involved in . Selling or buying a house can be a complex process but that process can be made much easier with the aid of a professional realtor.
Yet how does someone go about sorting through the myriad listings of real estate agents? How do we choose a realtor qualified to handle the sale or purchase of our home ?
Midland Storage wants you to think about the following tips for finding a qualified realtor.
* Basic Credentials . You want an MD to take care of your health problems . (I know I would not want the guy from Wal-Mart photo lab doing my prostate exam just because he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I actually would not want anyone to do this sort of exam on me, so forget my prostate point.) You most likely want a CPA to take care of your tax problems . (You don’t want the Capone Brother Tax and Moving Company to do it.) So, make sure your realtor is a professional too . Is the person you are considering a member of the National Association of Realtors? Ask to see their license and any specialty certifications. The respectable ones will be more than happy to reveal to you they are trained and qualified to help you deal with this major life situation. The shadier ones will probably not deliver much more than a notarized napkin from the Lego company.
* Full-time? Nothing against people who do real estate on the side, but you will want someone actively engaged in the real estate business on a day to day basis. This will ensure that an agent will be familiar with current market conditions, selling prices, new developments and past histories of homes on the market. Full time agents are also current on existing laws and regulations, including any laws or code statutes particular to your local community. These “real estate rules” do tend to fluctuate and you want a full-timer who has the time to stay on top of the legalities so they don’t unintentionally get you stuck in a negative spot.
* Performance. Some Good Questions: How many homes and properties has this person sold in the past year ? What is the average time this agent’s listings have been on the market before selling? For the houses they’ve sold, has there been a large gap between the asking price and the selling price? How familiar are they with the type of home or property you have to sell ? A commercial property specialist probably isn’t the ideal choice if you’re trying to sell or buy a residential home.
* Know the letters and lingo? In real estate terminology, you’ll see these designations.
CRS = Certified Residential Specialist. Extensive training in residential real estate sales.
ABR = Accredited Buyers Representative. Additional certification in representing buyers in real estate transactions.
SRES = Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Specializing in the 50+ age market, such as retirement communities, etc.
Knowing these distinctions might aid you in making wise choices from the outset.
* Real Estate Experience? As one real estate expert put it, “If they’ve been in business less than five years, they’re learning on you.” Try to find a veteran agent who has a good number of current listings. In particular, listings that mirror the type of property you’re trying to buy or sell. If you have a luxury home to sell, find an agent with experience in that market. If you’re trying to buy farm land, find a realtor with a working knowledge and client base in the rural market.
Midland Self Storage wants you to get top dollar for the property you’re trying to sell.