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Ways to Choose a Real Estate Agent

If you’re shopping for a real estate agent, you’ll always want the best no less. But with the huge number of prospects out there, how do you see through the hype?

Whether you plan to buy or sell a home, the following are effective ways of evaluating a real estate agent:

1. Call recent clients.

Ask agents to give you a list of what they have listed and sold in the last 12 months, with contact details. If you’re a seller, check if such properties were similar to yours when it comes to main features like price and location. You want someone who is a specialist in your type of property exactly. You must also find out how long those houses have been on the market.

2. Verify licensing.

Determine if your prospective agent is licensed and has a clean disciplinary or consumer record by inquiring at your state’s regulatory body. In most cases, this information can be obtained online.

4. Pick an agent with proper credentials.

Doctors and lawyers have their specialties as real estate agents do. Even generalists get special training in certain areas. That’s what those letters after an agent’s name indicate – that the professional has completed courses in a particular field of real estate sales. The following are some of the most common designations and their meaning:

> CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)

> ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative)

> SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist)

An agent who calls himself a Realtor with the capital “R” sign, that means he’s a member of the National Association of Realtors. When you hire a Realtor, the most important benefit you get is working with someone who has formally vowed to following the code of ethics.

5. Research the agent’s background in the business.

A state licensing authority will typically be able to let you know you how long an agent has been involved in the real estate industry. Or, just ask the agent himself. With an experience of less than 5 years, they’re likely to be experimenting on you, which isn’t very good. In the end, you just want someone who is very active in a specific area and price range that matches your property.

6. Examine current listings.

Scan the listings of an agent online. Explore their own website, as well as other sites providing an web-based database of properties in the Multiple Listing Service which you can search. Majority of buyers begin searching on the Internet, so you want an agent who can use the tool effectively.

7. Inquire about other properties for sale close by.

A good agent expected to be very familiar with other area properties being sold in the area. Casually mention a house that is up for sale or has been sold recently. If the agent instantly recognizes that property and gives you details about it, that’s a sign he actually knows the area. In other words, you want someone who is on top of the market.
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