Most people don’t wake up on any given morning and say to themselves, “I think I’ll go out and find a real estate agent today!” You are either planning to buy or sell a house; otherwise you probably wouldn’t be looking for a real estate agent.
Let us say that you are, indeed, planning to buy or sell a house and actually need/want the services of a real estate agent. How do you decide which agent to work with, and what qualities should you look for?
The start of your relationship
Working with a real estate agent means that you will be forging a close business relationship for a potentially extended period of time. Your agent is the person who will know almost as much as you do about what you are looking for in your future home, or what is motivating you to sell your current home. He or she will be privy to your financial condition, and sometimes the keeper of secrets – information regarding the purchase or sale that you do not wish (for privacy reasons) to have disclosed to anyone.
Your agent will help you remain focused during the often emotionally charged process of buying or selling your home.
Your dream real estate agent
You may already have some idea of the qualities you want or expect to find in your dream real estate agent. Let’s consider five important qualities that all real estate agents should have:
• Honesty: Above all else, you depend on your agent to be honest with you, and when representing you. Your agent should conduct all activities related to your purchase or sale with integrity.
• Knowledge: Your agent should be knowledgeable about real estate regulations, laws, contracts and practices.
He or she also should be thoroughly knowledgeable about the real estate market in which you are planning to sell or purchase your house.
• Proactive: The agent you choose should be one who will act on your behalf and not on what’s most convenient or what will yield the largest commission.
Your agent should be working diligently every day to market your property or locate and secure the ideal property for you.
• Communication: Every client has a preference for how he or she wishes to communicate with the agent, and how often. As part of your partnership, you and your agent must agree upon preferred method(s) of communication.
Your agent should be an excellent listener – great at asking questions, but even better at listening to your answers.
Your agent should be committed to keeping you well-informed at all stages of your sale or purchase.
• Detail focused: There are so many details connected with each sale or purchase. You will be depending on your agent to keep track of everything related to the transaction. following up on leads, and communicating effectively (and regularly) with you.
Every client has his or her own dream real estate agent wish list. The five qualities listed here are only starting points. But they are among the qualities most frequently cited by clients and industry writers as being among the most important.
There is a lot that goes into deciding which house to buy. Money factors in, location factors in and most of all you want to love the place you will eventually call home. Here are ten tips to help you find the perfect home!
1. Put your roots in the ground: When looking for a home you want to pick a home that you could see yourself living in for many years, at least 5-7 years ideally.
2. Leave room for growth: Because you’ll want to stay in one home for several years you want to find a place that can adapt as your life changes. For instance you might have a new baby or if your child moves back home after college. Leave options open for those family planning moments, and even if you don’t have it in the budget to get a home big enough to fit those future needs you can look for one that will allow you to build on in the future.
3. What can’t you live without: Write down the features you require in a home, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, formal dining room, family room and living room or great room, and the size of yard. These should be the items you absolutely cannot live without.
4. Check the surroundings: You aren’t just buying a home to live in when you pick a house out you are also choosing a neighborhood to live in. For instance It is preferable to buy a home that is in an up-and-coming or well-cared-for area. Homes in areas that are declining may lose value and never recover. Looking into the school systems and the crime-rate are also important factors.
5. Keep it in the budget: Understandably you want the best thing that your money can buy. However when buying a house you will need to check your finances, including looking towards current and future expenses, and don’t exceed that. It’s better to buy a home that you can easily afford than one you have to work to find money for.
6. Don’t limit yourself when looking: Make sure that you are seeing as many different homes in your price range as possible and don’t limit yourself to just old or just new, look at both.
7. Location matters: A house that is located on a busy street might be bothersome as a homeowner than one that is located inside a quiet neighborhood. Not to mention that when it comes time to re-sell your home will most likely be worth more if it’s located in a quiet area opposed to a busy one.
8. Pick your “type”: There are many different types of homes out there, so figure out which type best suites you whether it’s a single-family-home, a condo, a townhome, etc. You’ll want to pick a type that works with your lifestyle and your future plans. For instance a single-family-home will have to be maintained by the homeowner while a condo will have someone else to look over all of those needs.
9. Distinguish important from not so important: A small thing that can be fixed shouldn’t detract you from buying a perfectly good home. For instance you might go into a home and not like the paint, the cleanliness or the carpet but those are not things that are permanent so it’s something you should be able to look past. On the other hand you might be able to put a marble in the middle of the room and have it roll, you might have a slab issue and that would be something that would be something you wouldn’t want to have to deal with.
10. Look to the future’: Although you want to look at your house as a home first and not an investment you should put some thought into how easy or difficult it might be to resell the home eventually.