Real estate can be an excellent investment for those willing to do their research and commit to a little patience. The potential for a low-risk investment that can produce substantial returns is realistic, but only with the proper groundwork to ensure you are getting the best deal. Luckily, the real estate industry is massive, and there is no shortage of professionals to walk you through every step of the process. If you imagine the group of professionals involved as a football team, your real estate agent is the quarterback. Your agent will help you navigate everything from securing the best rate for a home loan to scheduling showings and recommending inspectors, so choosing an excellent agent is critical to your buying experience. If you’ve walked into an open house before, you’ve likely realized that no shortage of agents that are eager and willing to help you. Like most industries, though, you should know that some are unquestionably better than others.
To help you avoid a real estate headache and ensure you can have confidence in your decision, we’ve put together a few guidelines that will set you up for success!
No Time For Family and Friends
The high commissions earned by agents who close the deal on a real estate transaction make it a very popular career choice for many. Chances are you have a friend or relative that has their real estate license and will be first in line to volunteer their services when it comes time to buy your first home. Perhaps you’ve seen these solicitations on social media before? While supporting friends and family is a feel-good choice, real estate is not the time for warm and fuzzies. The truth is that a real estate transaction has a lot of moving parts and will likely be stressful at times. After all, for most, this will be the single largest financial transaction they make in their life. While initially it may make sense that you would want someone you can trust handling this, involving those people you are close to can muddy the water in times of stress. Having a non-bias representative that you aren’t afraid to be assertive with will go a long way towards ensuring you get the best deal for yourself.
Find a Local Expert
Having a working knowledge of contracts and understanding the many steps to a real estate transaction is undoubtedly a non-negotiable for any worthwhile agent. Equally valuable, however, is having a deep understanding of the local area. Even if you have lived in the area you wish to buy your entire life, the chances are that there are intricacies in the real estate market that only a local trained professional will be privy to. Trends in the property values of specific neighborhoods, as well as a working relationship with the other agents in the area, will leave you with the best chances of finding the best deal. Often local agents will also have prior knowledge of properties sold off-market and not advertised in any of the usual channels. All of the experience in the world doesn’t replace having the inside scoop!
Look for the Hungry Agent
When you are relying on a real estate agent to represent you during a real estate transaction, it’s important to understand that there is actually quite a bit of work involved. It’s often assumed that real estate agents make a ton of money without having to do much more than take care of a couple contracts, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While they are in charge of making sure all of your contracts are correct in representing your best interests, they also take the reins on finding properties for you, scheduling tours, and negotiating back and forth on aspects of the transaction such as cost and contingencies. All of these critical steps can be accomplished with full attention or half attention, so it’s important that you can trust your agent is committed to doing the absolute best job they can for you. The best agents will treat your transaction as an opportunity to prove their worth and become your realtor for life; make sure that’s who you are enlisting to help you!
By following these guidelines you can be confident that the agent you find will work hard for you to find the best deal possible and will succeed in doing so. Real estate is an excellent investment, but only if you make your decision with all the available insight and have your transaction appropriately executed at all levels by an unbiased and capable agent. Happy house hunting!