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How to Find a Real Estate Agent

If you’re wondering how to find a real estate agent, you’ve found the right place. Whether you’re interested in buying luxury real estate, selling a primary residence or second home, or you’d just like some input on the housing market in your area, a real estate agent is the person to contact. Below, we’ve collected all the most relevant information to know before you make a decision on an agent that understands you and your family’s real estate goals. Let’s take a closer look!

The basics

The world of real estate in today’s digital age is more complex than it’s ever been. With more buyers and sellers on the market every year, the amount of data points available on any one property is astronomical. That makes it more important than ever to understand the basics of what real estate agents do and how they can help you achieve your dream real estate deal. From there, you’ll be able to make a reasonable choice on hiring the agent who’s right for you.

Real estate agent vs. broker

The job descriptions that differentiate a real estate agent from a broker are quite distinct. A real estate agent is much more likely to be the person on your team that you work with every day. They are communicators and assistants that cooperate with you as you buy, sell, or rent property. They provide guidance, organize documents for you, and negotiate over a closing deal. Brokers, on the other hand, work more closely with the financial side of the industry. They write contracts, supervise transactions, and manage the brokerage as a whole as well as train and recruit real estate agents.

Realtor vs. real estate agent

A realtor and a real estate agent differ in the type of certification they receive before joining the workforce. A realtor is a registered member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and someone who has gone through the rigorous training needed to join this distinguished group. Not all real estate agents are realtors, however. An agent is someone who has been licensed in their state of choice to help people buy, sell, or rent physical real estate. They are not home appraisers, property managers, or any of the other professionals who may be in the NAR.

Buyer’s agent vs. listing agents

Among real estate agents, there are two specialties. Buyer’s agents are responsible for guiding buyers through every step in the process of purchasing real estate, including finding a home that meets their needs, researching the market, accompanying buyers during tours, and negotiating. A listing agent, on the other hand, works with home sellers. They assess the value of the house, coordinate home tours, create the listing, and serve as an intermediary when dealing with multiple buyers.

How to find a real estate agent

Now that we understand the differences between all the various experts in real estate let’s discuss how to find a real estate agent that works for you.

What is their experience?

The best way to tell if your agent is going to be a help to you is to ask them about their past. How long have they worked in the area, and what average sale price have they fetched for homes similar to yours? If you’re buying a house, tell them your non-negotiables and see what properties are already out there in your budget.

Do they have assistants who will help?

When you hire a real estate agent, you’re also making a connection to that agent’s wide network of professional references. It’s important that you have a way to contact the people on your agent’s team who can provide answers at the last minute. What if you have doubts about the age of a home’s roof? Who can tell you about the zoning restrictions at a property or whether it’s best to repair the basement or wait until later? You deserve answers to these questions and more.

How much commission do they expect?

Very few realtors work on salary, so it’s likely your agent will work on commission. These rates vary widely from state to state, but the average percent of the total sale price you can expect to pay to your agent is 5%-6%. In many cases, you can negotiate this rate with your realtor.

Do they have good reviews from past clients?

Lastly, you should always take time to research the success rate of your potential new realtor. Visit their brokerage online to read up about any clients who liked or disliked their service. You should feel comfortable that your realtor doesn’t burn bridges with clients but rather stays in contact and helps them stay true to their real estate goals.

Things to look for in a buyer’s agent

If you’re buying property, there are several ways to tell that your real estate agent is going to be a good fit. First of all, they should be able to connect you with homes that are already in your price range. If your agent is consistently showing you houses out of your comfort zone, it could be difficult to join the market with an advantage over other buyers.

Your agent should also be a strong negotiator and stand up for you when it comes time to close. Finally, they should have a realistic outlook. Your agent should set a groundwork for what homes or buyers you can expect regarding home availability and competition.

Things to look for in a seller’s agent

For sellers, there is a slightly different set of skills you should look out for in a realtor. They should be excellent marketers and be able to advertise your home sale all across the internet and via social media channels.

Your seller’s agent will also know what types of improvements to make to your home and the best listing price to set for it. Their experience in your neighborhood will also provide them with comparable listings in your area that will help you navigate the market and get initial offers that are close to what you expect.

Get in touch with a local real estate agent today

There you have it: our complete guide on how to find a real estate agent. If you have any questions or comments to share, or you’d like to learn more about Winter Park real estate, reach out today! Contact Marcie Gumieny and The Gumieny Group for more information.

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