Buying and selling real estate can be stressful, expensive and time-consuming. That's why having a knowledgeable, communicative real estate agent you can trust can be a huge asset to building your real estate portfolio.
But, what do you look for when trying to find your go-to realtor? If you're in a large area like Sacramento, CA., isolating one real estate agent or team to work with can feel like a huge job.
To help you get started, we are sharing some tips today for how to find the right real estate agent for you and what you should look for.
Let's dive in!
How To Find the Right Real Estate Agent:
1. Look For Area Expertise:
No two places are alike. That's why if you're looking for a real estate agent or team in a certain area, you want to find agents that don't just know real estate - but they're experts in that particular area as well. You want someone who knows more than market stats and actually understands the neighborhoods and area, because knowing a school is highly rated on Greatschools.org is nice, but it's not the complete picture.
Look for a realtor who is privy to insider knowledge into specific areas, schools and more, so they can help you find the right place or investment property for you.
Or, if you're looking for a realtor who is well-versed in something specific, such as foreclosures or selling large parcels of land, ask to see examples of other listings they've sold that are similar to what you are selling or buying.
2. Ask for Referrals:
Talk to people with similar real estate goals in your area to fill you in on who they have worked with in the past. People are usually more than willing to tell you what they liked, and didn't like, with their past realtors. Compile a list of names you hear over and over again as a starting point for who you can call.
3. Interview At Least 3:
A good rule of thumb is to interview at least 3 agents. When you're talking to them, consider how those communications go. Do you feel comfortable talking with them? How do you think they'll do in a negotiation situation?
You'll likely be spending a good deal of time with your realtor, especially if you're a buyer, and you need someone you feel comfortable being around, but who will also do well when it's time to make a deal.
Plus, you will want a real estate agent who is:
Acts in their client's best interest
Has a great reputation
Is a skilled negotiator
Has a history of closing deals quickly and successfully
Understands the area
Has experience with your unique objectives
Feel free to add whatever else you are looking for in an agent to this list.
4. Ask Good Questions:
Before you interview each agent, put together a list of questions you will ask each of them so you can compare how the conversations go. Your questions will be specific to your unique real estate goals, but here are some examples to get you started:
How long have you been working in real estate?
What's your specialty?
In what area is most of your business?
How many active clients do you have at a time?
Are you part of a team?
Are you equipped to handle my unique situation?
How will you market my home?
How will we communicate? (For example, are they available by phone or prefer to respond to emails? Do they only work certain days and hours or are they available whenever a client needs them?)
Can you put me in contact with some references?
If you ask each agent the same questions, you'll start to get a good idea of which one is the right choice for your real estate objectives.
5. Be Clear on Your Situation:
Once you've narrowed down your list, make sure you are upfront about the particulars of your unique buying or selling situation with the realtor you'd like to work with. This will help you make your final decision for who is the right realtor for you.
For example, do you need to close the sale quickly before heading out of the country for a long summer? Are you limited on when the house can be shown or when you can view properties? Will you have an assistant preview properties in advance and then compile a short list of properties that you'll want to view in one day?
Be clear about any specifics, goals and/or limitations that the real estate agent should know about your unique situation in advance, so they can prepare accordingly. Or, maybe they'll let you know that your expectations don't really fit how they typically do business and this will save you both the headache of working together.
6. Discuss Particulars:
Now that you've likely selected your final agent, it's time to discuss your specific selling strategy and the particulars.
For example, what specific marketing strategies will be used to sell your property? If you're looking for something unique and different, be clear about your desire for a more creative marketing approach. Perhaps you are looking to leverage social media or videos to broaden the reach. Make sure your agent is knowledgeable and comfortable with your expectations.
If you're selling, discuss open houses, showings, and following-up with potential buyers. Make sure important information is getting shared. For example, maybe your home has no window coverings, because they're all going to be replaced with brand new shutters. You'll want every interested buyer who walks through to know this information.
7. Check Your Contracts:
Before you sign any agreements, make sure to read the fine print. Look over all of the details, including the list price, contract length, commission structure and more before signing the dotted line.
8. Keep Communication Open:
Once it's go time, keep the lines of communication open. If you've completed all these steps, you've done the work to establish clear expectations from the beginning, but that doesn't mean the process won't always be smooth sailing.
Buying and selling real estate can be a bit of a roller coaster. Remember to try and enjoy the ride as much as possible, because the end result will be something worth celebrating.
What do you think? Is there anything you'd like to add to this list? Let us know!
And, if you're looking for an honest, successful, real estate agent or team in the Sacramento area, reach out! We would love to talk with you about your real estate goals. Give us a call at 916.524.9733.