How to choose the best real estate agent for your house
If you want to buy or sell house fast`, then the first order of business is to find the best real estate agent for the job. However, finding a good agent is not walk in the park. As many as one in six home buyers and sellers expressed their dissatisfaction with their agent in 2015, which indicates that the dissatisfaction rate is more than 16% - an exceedingly high figure that will send most business owners in the service industry into convulsions.
So how do you find a good agent?
1. Find a local agent
In the age of the internet, we frequently take borders for granted. As marvellous as the internet is, it still cannot compare to first hand local knowledge. While you may be able to see a listing of fantastic houses in Bath or Salisbury, your London-based agent won’t be able to effectively negotiate the selling price compared to what a local lad could do.
On top of that, a local agent will know much more about the history of the house, the amenities around it. Sure you can see schools listed nearby, but you won’t know which is the best one among them. A local agent would be able to advise you on the best schools, best shops, best restaurants, etc. In addition, they will also be able to recommend reliable local contractors and servicemen to do any repair work on the house. This is what people in the service industry call the personal touch.
2. Check their portfolio and reviews
It’s not enough to just appoint a local agent. You need to know whether they have the experience, expertise and contacts to handle your needs. Check out their online portfolio. Take a look at their agency’s portfolio as well. Read reviews of previous buyers and sellers. On some websites, you can even contact them directly to get a first-hand review. Above all, make sure the agent and the agency has a spotless record. You don’t want to deal with agents who have a dodgy history or reviews.
3. Conduct interviews with shortlisted agents
Once you have narrowed down your choices to just a few agents (ideally between three and five), give them a call. Explain your needs, and see how they respond. Are they curt and lacking initiative? Are they friendly and full of energy? Do they have a plan on how to sell your home or find a suitable house for you? Will they attend viewings or accompany you? Will they help with your online listings?
After you have identified your perfect agent, do one final thing – meet them. If they are as great in person as they are on the phone, then you’ve found your guy.