For many people, buying and selling a home is the single largest financial decision they will make.
You know that homeownership can, over time, give you greater financial stability.
But where do you begin when you’ve decided you are ready to buy or sell? It all begins with finding a knowledgeable Realtor®. Read on for the important characteristics your next Realtor® should have.
Buyers and Sellers
Each client is unique – no two sellers or buyers are the same – nor is a real estate transaction ever “typical.”
It may sound cliché, but it is true that each buyer and seller has their own reasons for making a home purchase which ultimately dictates the path a home search and transaction will take. Perhaps a baby is on the way, or conversely it’s time to downsize since the kids have left home. Maybe there is a job transfer that is necessitating a change or there are aging parents moving in.
No matter the reason, your Realtor® should be in-tune with your wish list and needs. A good Realtor® may show you homes that are outside the box to show you different possibilities and to expand the options. But with clear communication from both parties, you should be shown homes that fit your needs and criteria. Ultimately, a good Realtor® is a good listener.
When to Buy a Home
Before you find a Realtor® to help you buy a house, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing so in the right timing. Ideally, you should complete Phase I: The Foundation Phase before you look for a new home. This is always not possible, but if you’re not pressed to buy a home, make sure to complete the first phase before you do so.
Additionally, it’s important to make sure your PITI (Principal, Interest, Property Taxes, and Insurance) is less than 28 percent of your gross monthly income.
With these considerations in mind, are you ready to buy a home? Continue if so!
Realtor® Expertise Matters
Is your Realtor® familiar with both the positive and negative aspects of the area? Your Realtor® should intimately know the neighborhood that you are considering. Do they know about the school district, shopping areas, and traffic issues in and around the area? Does your Realtor® know about the current active, pending, and recently-closed homes in and around the subdivision? When an agent is knowledgeable with the area, they can truly sell your home or assist you with finding the perfect home.
Your Realtor® should not put the commission first. A self-serving agent will manipulate your next move to benefit their own pocketbook. Your Realtor’s® advice should reflect what is best for you – even if it results in no sale and no commission.
Your Realtor® should be able to paint a description of the big picture as well as clearly communicate step by step what to expect during a transaction in a way that puts you at ease. The home buying and selling process has many moving parts. From the word “go” there are tight timelines that must be adhered to.
A failure to execute the inspections and/or addendums could result in a breach of contract or a failure to protect your interests during the transaction. Your Realtor® should always have their eye on the moving target and keep you informed along the way.
Finding Your Realtor®
How does a prospective buyer or seller know whether an agent will fit these criteria? Scanning a Realtor’s® flashy website or Facebook page won’t tell you much. A website with many bells and whistles is not a clear indicator that the Realtor® will be professional and reliable. A powerful place to start is to obtain recommendations from a Certified Financial Planner™.
In addition, referrals from friends and family are a strong way to find out which Realtors® excelled or failed miserably. But as previously mentioned, each buyer and seller is different – a Realtor® that worked well for your coworker may not fit your needs or personality well.
Carve out a little time for a face-to-face meeting with referred Realtors®. In our technology-laden world, it speaks volumes when an agent will find time to meet with you. You may find that the Realtor® with the most eye-catching website is not the easiest person to converse with which could be a telltale sign as to how your relationship will unfold.
Taking the time to find the right Realtor® will flip your odds from a stressful event to a comfortable, wonderfully predictable, and enjoyable experience.
What are some lessons you’ve learned about shopping for a Realtor®? Leave a comment and let us know!