Whether you’re buying or selling, the right real estate agent can make the process a breeze – or a nightmare. A good real estate agent educates you about the current market and your prospects. They can also recommend professionals to help you on the journey, from home inspectors to mortgage brokers.
Keep in mind that your real estate agent is someone you’ll be working with closely for weeks or months, so communication styles and a good fit are a must.
Real Estate Agent Basics
The type of agent you require depends on whether you’re buying or selling. A buyer’s agent helps you find a home to purchase for the best price. They negotiate on your behalf with the seller or the seller’s agent and make sure that there are no problems with the house’s condition or the title.
A listing agent helps sellers price their homes, market effectively, and sell the house for the highest amount possible. While some real estate agents can complete both sides of the transaction, it’s often better to have one solely representing you, not you and the other party, as you need someone only focused on your interests.
Finding and Interviewing Real Estate Agents
It probably seems like you have hundreds of options for real estate agents in Howard County, and you’re not wrong. Ask friends or co-workers for recommendations for Realtors® they’ve worked with, and look up the agents online, specifically professional qualifications and client reviews.
When you’ve narrowed your choices down to three or four, interview your top candidates. Remember, your agent is helping you with one of the biggest financial transactions of your life, so it’s essential to find one you trust.
What Should I Ask My Real Estate Agent?
While you probably have specific questions about your financial situation and needs, those can come later when you’ve signed the contract. When interviewing agents, however, broad questions and a conversation can help you find the right partner.
What Kind of Training and Experience Do You Have?
The state of Maryland requires all real estate agents to pass an exam for licensure. Some agents may also be Realtors®, members of the National Association of Realtors® and professionals with additional training, and who adhere to a certain code of ethics.
Will We Work One-on-one or With a Team?
Some agents have assistants working with them to take care of clients. An efficient team can serve your needs well, especially if you’re busy and need immediate help. However, ensure that you’ll have enough access to the primary agent so your needs are met.
What Challenges Will I Face in the Current Market?
The Howard County metro area is one of the largest real estate markets in the country, but different parts of the city have different challenges for both buyers and sellers. A good agent gives you realistic expectations, including the number of homes on the market and the level of competition. Often, agents back up their assurances with hard numbers, including reports about the comparative set of homes for sale in the area or how property values and home prices have changed in the last 18 months.
Finding the right real estate agent means finding one you feel comfortable with, from their communication style to their understanding of your needs. At Vsells & Associates, we personalize each client’s representation to best meet your needs and make the home buying and selling process smooth. Call us today or visit us online to schedule your appointment.