Wherever you see, there are advertisements for real estate, and for real estate agents. We are everywhere! The reason is quite simple: it is not too difficult to get your real estate license, a bachelor’s degree is not needed, and the potential for income is quite high. Unfortunately, this means that there are many bad real estate agents out there. The best way to find good professionals – in whatever industry – is asking for a reference from a trusted friend or colleague. This is not, however, means that everyone who refers to you is a quality professional – everyone has a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin in business, after all – but will increase your chances.
There are a number of questions that you must ask for real agents before signing the buyer’s agent or listing agreement.
1) How long are you in business?
Quite a lot of people can decide they want to get their license today, and have that license in their mailbox a month later. Therefore, your real estate agent experience is very important. New agents will learn many of their first year, and will continue to learn more with every transaction. Don’t automatically choose against newer agents – they usually carry a lot of energy for transactions, and they will have a lot of time for you. However, if you decide to use a newer agent, make sure they have a great support system behind it.
2) Are you a broker?
Not all real estate agents are realtors agents. Members of the National Realtors Association must comply with strict code of ethics, or the face has their membership revoked. Also, you must be a member of the National Association of Realtors to have access to MLS (various listings) that gave access to realtors to almost every home for sale in their market area.
3) What certification do you hold?
There is a “alphabet soup” sophisticated certification that can be produced by real estate agents. Even though it doesn’t automatically mean that they are a good agent, it means they are serious about their work. Keep an eye on Gri – this is the most time-consuming certification to obtain.
4) What is your specialty?
Real estate agents usually categorize themselves as “commercial” or “housing” very different. Even among housing real estate agents, agents will specialize in buyers, sellers, or tenants. Some housing agents managed to handle buyers & sellers, but make sure they come with many satisfied customers. Agents usually cut their teeth working with tenants.
5) Can I have a list of past customers?
Take the time to call several customer agents of the past. Ask for their strengths and weaknesses (and make sure they don’t share the real name of the agent.)
6) Who is your broker? Can I call him?
Real estate agents move towards the “mega-broker” mentality which means that many agents today have never met their brokers. If an agent does not have their broker’s cellphone number, find out who they will call if they experience questions.
7) How many sales do you finish last year?
A good agent will complete at least 25 sales per year calendar. You want to make sure that the agent helps you through the biggest purchase or sale in your life is a good agent.
8) Is this your full time job?
It always surprises me how many people want to let their offices in the hall handle their home purchases or sales. You need someone who handles full-time real estate transactions, day after day, to ensure that your best interests are taken care of.
There are many fantastic real estate agents that function today. Unfortunately, an incompetent agent really stands out. (Do you hear about the agent who contracts the wrong house?) Make sure you find your agent through a trusted source, and ask any agent of these important questions.