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Expectations For Your Real Estate Agent
Buying a home is daunting in and of itself without having to worry about what you should expect from your real estate agent. We can all be a bit demanding and dramatic when we're stressed so the lines of what is and is not realistic can be blurry during the home buying process. Below are the things that we think you should expect from your buyer's agent.
Record of Success You will want an agent that has a proven track record of getting the job done. If you're considering working with a new(er) agent then you should make sure they have the support they'll need to be successful as well as a firm understanding of what needs to be done. If they are unable to answer your questions or often need to research the answer you may want to consider a different agent. That's not to say that asking for advice or a second opinion is ever the wrong answer but when it's the only answer it should be a red flag.
Budget Friendly Your real estate agent should be familiar with and accepting of your budget. You do not want an agent who is constantly showing you houses that are out of your budget or only at the top end of your budget.
Negotiator Your agent should be active and effective negotiator. You want someone who knows the market and is able to think outside the box so that they can negotiate the best deal for you. Someone who is knowledgeable about the market will be able to compare your potential home to others in the area easily pointing out what makes it unique. If your agent is able to think outside the box they will be able to come up with creative solutions that will make all parties happy. When your agent is both knowledgeable and creative you're sure to get the best outcome.
It's Their Real Job You don't want a real estate agent who is not focused solely on what they do to be representing you and looking our for your interests. Someone who only dabbles in real estate or doesn't do it full time is likely to miss great opportunities that won't be on the market long. They will not be as knowledgeable about the market or it's current trends. They will also likely have a smaller network to assist you through the process of buying a home.
Responsive You will want a real estate agent who not only communicates but communicates well with you and others involved in the transaction. Your agent should respond to your questions and concerns in a timely manner. You shouldn't go days without hearing from them or without the answer to your question. You want someone that will respond to you, after all if they won't respond to you then will they respond to the lawyer, lender, or other agent?
They should also be able to communicate effectively. You want to make sure that what they're telling you makes sense. If they can't explain something in a way that you can understand exactly what's going on then you have to wonder if they know what's going on. They should also communicate in a way that is easy for you. Do you have small children making text and email easier? Is it easier for you to talk on the phone because you're usually on the go? These may seem like minor details but if you're often driving and they only text then it makes keeping clear and open lines of communication difficult.
Qualified You want to make sure that your real estate agent is qualified. You want someone who does not have just the basic licensing but who has other credentials showing that they meet more than just the bare minimum requirements. Someone who has gone above and beyond will have a better knowledge of what they're doing. Don't be afraid to ask what makes them qualified.
Strong Network You will want a real estate agent who has a strong network. An agent with a strong network will be able to recommend and provide high quality lenders, inspectors, movers, attorneys, and other service providers. A well networked agent will also have access to pocket listings. These pocket listings are listings that are not on the MLS or available to the public--meaning not everyone has access. They will also be able to confer with other agents about potential properties that will be coming available soon and get you in before anyone else.
Strong References Any agent that you are even considering should be able to give you at least 3- 5 references. You will want to check these references and make sure that they are also recent. An agent who has amazing references from 10 years ago is probably not up on the current market or has had trouble assisting recent clients.
Contractual Limitations A confident agent will let you out of your contract if things aren't working out. Making sure that you have the ability to end your contract will let your agent know that you will be watching what they're doing and making sure that they're holding up their end of the bargain.
Chemistry Probably one of the most important things to have in your relationship with your real estate agent is chemistry--and not in the romantic way. You will want an agent that you can get along with and don't mind spending long hours with. You real estate agent is someone you will likely be spending a lot of time with. You want to be sure that you are comfortable around them.
These are all things that we believe to be highly important when selecting your real estate agent. Another important thing to do when selecting your real estate agent is to clearly define your expectations for them as well as what they will be doing for you.
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....