How to choose a real estate broker

Buying or selling a home or apartment is not an easy job for everyone. An experienced real estate agent can make things easy for you. The selection of a real estate agent is very important both to sell and/or purchase a house or apartment because as a buyer you’re going to spend a lot of money and if you are a seller then you definitely want to earn as much as you can.

Many people spend more time deciding on a restaurant than they do the selection of their real estate agent. This is important because entry standards to the profession can be relatively low and sometimes it is not clear which broker is good or bad. People usually follow the reference of someone who is a friend or relative. You wouldn’t recommend a heart surgeon to anyone if he is new, on the other hand in the real estate business, this is common. Another way to find the right real estate agent for you is to Google a real estate agent near me. Below are a few tips to help you find a quality real estate agent.

Real estate agent for the seller
For selling a property, you should select an agent who has full market knowledge, especially with regards to proper pricing and negotiation skills. To find an agent, start gathering information from your friends or colleagues who may have worked with any agents recently, especially from those living in your neighborhood. After this, visit at least three agents and ask questions like “have you sold any property in my building or neighborhood?” Also, ask how long they have been in the business. Their experience in business plays a vital role but is not the only thing to consider. So, instead of focusing on the real estate company’s resume, investigate a little deeper. Sometimes, a younger estate agent is more energetic and ambitious to grow than an older one.

It would be a good idea to make a list that includes comparable sale and plan data of your property provided by your agent.  Also, ask about other properties they are dealing with in the area or your building. This will enable you to estimate the skills and capabilities of your agent.

Pay more attention to the broker who seems to be interested in your opinion rather than those who simply tell you what you want to hear with regard to your property’s value. The value of the property is determined by the market, not by the agent. So, don’t choose a broker based on the numbers he put in front of you.

It would be wise to not blindly trust brokers who declare your property “perfect as is” because they likely just don’t want to make a potential client unhappy. Treat talking with the broker just like it is a  job interview.

Brokers should be not only being direct and honest but also reasonably likable. Sellers sometimes focus on the brokers who they believe are good as they are tough negotiators. But customers don’t like tough or unreasonable brokers. You should select a broker who is a team player to help ensure your deal gets done.

Real estate agent for buyers
For buying a property, choose a broker who is intelligent enough to ask questions about your financial conditions, prequalification of mortgage, your time, etc.

You should choose an agent who knows the area where you want to live in and specializes in new development. More preferably, your agent should live and have an office in the area where you want to live. At the same time, the buyers should seek a broker who should not only know the particular area you’re looking to move to, but also has information and command over specific housing types of that area such as pre war, co-op, new construction, etc.

For the buying side, good listening skills and the power of intuition are desirable attributes. Your broker should not only know what your requirements are but also what is right for you as an individual.

What’s in a Team?
In medicine, there are both group practices and solo practitioners. The same is true in real estate where some members on the team are good in marketing, some in staging, and others in negotiating. But the most important thing to consider is their availability. Does someone have the time to handle crises and problems as they appear?

A team might not do much for you on the buying side. Some teams do a poor job of exchanging information, so that can lead to confusion or you having to waste your time constantly reiterating your desires. On the other hand, if you are on the selling side, it can be advantageous to work with a number of agents who can get the word out about your available properties. It’s important to understand the role of every member on the team to optimize your working relationship.

Breaking Up
Breaking up with a broker can happen if things don’t fit for you. There is no document binding a buyer and broker. But the seller has a listing agreement with the broker that can be for six months. It is easy to end the relationship with the broker if the seller is not satisfied. Sellers must protect their interests in such cases. Make sure to get a list of all clients who contacted him. If you cancel the relationship, the agent cannot get credit for the sale if the unlisted buyer materializes and accepts the offer. There should be a contract of 3-6 months. After which the agent cannot claim credit for the listed client.  All points should be spelled in agreement to avoid any confusion or problem created by the broker.

If you have chosen a broker who you believe is an ideal agent, it is advisable to think twice before signing an agreement. It is also recommended to ask your agent to place your property on Multiple Listing Service (MLS).