The Best Real Estate Agents Work For You

By: Ray La Foy

Fast-talking salespeople might seem impressive at first glance, but they're not always the best choice. When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, the smart shopper looks for one that's honest, outgoing and comes with good reviews from past customers. Integrity should also be a high priority, as should an ability to communicate well.

Having a good rapport with the person you're looking to hire to either buy or sell a home is vital. This agent must be a good listener for the transaction to go smoothly. But, remember, you must be a good listener, too.

Successfully buying or selling a home is a pursuit of communication. On your part, it's very important whether you're buying or selling that you feel comfortable enough with the agent to share your hopes, desires and what you'd be willing to settle for. On the listening end, you must get clear, and honest, feedback from the agent about what is feasible. If your expectations are reasonable and your agent's don't sound that way, there's a disconnect somewhere.

If you're selling a home, your agent must understand what you need and want to get out of a home. These can be two very different numbers, but in some markets the "want" can be very possible. You must also feel comfortable enough to clearly explain any flaws with the home and what, if anything, you can do prior to the sale to remedy one.

When dealing with an honest agent, you should receive good feedback about your expectations. This can include advice on what can be done to attain the desired price, what you can expect during the sales process and a clear and easy to understand explanation of any contracts. If you don't get these things, be a little wary. Also, if your real estate agent promises you the sun and the stars, ask questions. The person might be promising you the world to get you to sign a contract. A reputable agent will not do this.

On the buying end, your budget, desires for the home and the area you'd like to live in must be made very clear. If you want a three bedroom and the agent keeps showing you two bedroom places, there's a problem in communication. The lack of understanding is not only a waste of your time; it's a waste of the agent's. Be certain to list out minimum requirements about what you'd like to buy; otherwise, you'll both be spinning your wheels.

Buying or selling a house can be a great experience if a good real estate agent is involved. This person will act as a liaison between you and others in the business dealing and should help take some of the burdens off you. If he or she doesn't, you haven't found a good agent.

When looking for the right agent, check out different offices and go with a person you feel comfortable talking with, one who is state licensed and has a good track record with past clients. It's more than okay to interview a few. If communication and trust are present, along with the right credentials, you've found a keeper.

Remember, buying or selling a home is a complex process. Make sure the real estate agent you hire is out to serve you during the deal.

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