Choosing A Real Estate Agent

Dated: 10/31/2016

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Choosing  a real estate agent is one of the first things you will need to do once you have made the decision to buy or sell a property.  The question is how to choose the right real estate.  you will want an agent that is both qualified and meshes with your personality. You want to choose someone you like—after all, you might spend the next six months working together. However, your agent also needs to be able to safeguard your financial interests.  A good agent will listen carefully to your priorities and won’t waste time on properties that don’t fit the bill.

You should start by asking friends and family members for recommendations. Interview at least three agents to find the one with the experience, skill and personality that matches your needs.  Keep in mind that you will be working closely with the real estate agent you choose so you'll want to make sure that you can communicate effectively.  Make sure that you know how often they will update you and how.  If you prefer text or email and they insist on calling it may not be a good match.

Most experts recommend five or more years experience—which is not to say that someone with less can’t do a good job. Sometimes less experience means a smaller client base, which translates into more attention for you. Make sure the agent is licensed by the state and does the job full-time; about half of all agents are designated Realtors, which means they belong to the National Association of Realtors and agree to abide by NAR’s stringent code of ethics.  Choosing a real estate agent that does it part time or on the side may be risky.  Someone who does it all day everyday will have a better network and idea of what is going on in the current market.  They will know about properties that have not yet hit the market to be bought or sold giving you an advantage.

Real estate is a local game, and to win you need someone who plays in the area you are looking to buy or sell. Not only will they be up on market trends, they’ll know about local schools, commute times, and under-the-radar red flags, like the solid-waste transfer station that’s been proposed for the neighborhood.  Choosing a real estate agent that knows your desired area is a must.  If you are new to an area you are going to rely on your agent being a local expert even more.  You don't want to purchase a new home only to discover that due to traffic the commute takes twice as long as you would have thought.

Inquire about what’s currently on the market.  The real estate agent you choose should be able to rattle off a few properties.  Make sure to ask for a list of houses they’ve handled in your target neighborhood that includes not just what the house sold for, but also the price at which it was originally listed and how long it was on the market for.  You may also want to speak to former clients.  If the agent you are interviewing doesn't know about the market or hasn't assisted in the sale or purchase of property in your desired area then you should probably look for one that has a better knowledge base and can offer you what you are looking for.

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Skye Streppa

Skye Streppa is an Asheville native who holds a wealth of local knowledge and a depth of character found only in the mountains of North Carolina. His attentive advocacy to his client’s needs creat....

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