Whether you are looking to buy or to sell a home, the first person with whom to discuss the entire process is someone who has the knowledge, skills, and experience to close the deal for you. That’s right: your real estate agent.
Whether you are buying or selling a home for the first time, or are a repeat buyer or seller, or if you are new to the Mid-South housing market, you need someone who can manage the many moving parts of real estate transactions. An experienced licensed Realtor can make life much easier for you while protecting your financial interests.
Before you choose a Realtor, though, there are a few things to keep in mind. To ensure your home buying or selling is handled with care from start to finish, you must find someone who can help you navigate the hurdles and barriers. Remaining flexible, agile, and patient, while also being an excellent communicator, negotiator, and advocate for clients, is a lot to ask of one person. However, it is exactly what you need from your real estate professional.
To help you find the right real estate agent, we have compiled 5 specific steps to guide your search. Use one or all of these methods, and you will be sure to find an experienced, professional Realtor who will help you buy or sell your home with honesty and relative ease.
1. Do Your Research
With so many tools available online, there are many places you can look to get a sense of what you want in your home in terms of location, style, and price. A knowledgeable agent can help you refine your criteria and evaluate your options.
If you are selling your home, there are tools to help you estimate what your house is worth based on the sale of comparable nearby homes. A qualified agent can provide a detailed market study which may confirm your value estimate or recommend some adjustment.
You may already have an established relationship with a trusted agent. If not, these basic ideas can guide the hunt for your Realtor. Many agents, like most of the agents at Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS, have their own websites, where you can learn more about them, including the homes they are currently marketing and have recently helped sell.
By browsing agents’ websites you can see which agents sell homes that are in your typical buying or selling price range and which are active in your location. As you do your research you may see certain agent names repeatedly. Make a list of these names and continue your research from there.
2. What Are People Saying?
While you are researching agents, you may begin to wonder what distinguishes one agent from another. Sometimes, the smallest details can say the most about who an agent is and how hard they will work for you. And always remember, your best interests will be best served by working with an agent who has deep experience, who is very professional, and who upholds the highest ethical standards. Through a few quick Google searches, you may find out additional information about your potential Realtor. For instance, online reviews are becoming more and more prevalent for agents and this feedback from real clients can speak volumes about customer service.
Along with reviews, you can also see which Realtors have obtained special certifications or have received local awards. Sometimes, these credentials indicate agent dedication and success. While we are talking about awards, it is important to note that Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS was named Memphis Most’s Best Real Estate Agency in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
3. Schedule A Meeting
Although you can look online all day and all night, there is nothing like a conversation to determine whether or not a Realtor is right for you. There is no doubt that face-to-face communication is the best test.
Schedule a meeting or at least a phone call to get started. See how compatible you are with the agent. Are you and the agent comfortable with each other? Does the agent listen to you and hear what you say? Does the agent instill confidence? Does the agent want your business?
4. Ask Questions
By all means, be prepared for the meeting. If you are buying or selling your home for the first time, or if you are experienced and just want to be in the loop on your real estate transaction, you need to ask questions. Asking questions gives you a true sense of whether the agent is up to the task of helping you during what can be an uncertain, yet exciting time.
Your Realtor should not only answer your questions, but also guide you to the resources you need. For instance, an agent should be able to connect you with appropriate vendors (banks and loan officers, legal counsel, home inspectors, insurance agents, contractors, and more) to make your buying or selling process less stressful and more successful.
Wondering where to start? Here are a few questions you can ask. Whether buying or selling, these general questions can provide helpful insight:
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
- Do you work part time or full time as an agent? Is it your primary / only source of income?
- Do you work alone or as part of a real estate team?
- How many buyers and how many sellers do you typically work within a year?
If you are a buyer, you may want to ask these additional questions:
- Is my budget reasonable for my desired criteria and preferred location?
- Are there other areas or neighborhoods I should consider?
- What happens if a home I like is a For Sale By Owner?
If you are a seller, these questions are appropriate:
- Have you sold homes in my area recently?
- Can you show me what comparable homes have sold for in my area?
- What improvements do I need to make to my home? How will you market my home?
- Do you hold open houses? Flyers? Does your firm do agent tours?
- What are your commissions? Are there any additional fees I will owe you or your firm?
5. The Trust Test
Like many things in life, sometimes it is best to go with your instincts. While your time spent researching and your feelings of compatibility are important, sometimes a simple question can help the most. That question is: do you trust this Realtor?
Knowing that your agent is someone who has your best interests at heart is incredibly important. Trusting this person to be mindful of your wants, needs, and your schedule shows that they are the right person to handle one of the biggest purchases or sales of your life.
With our trusted staff of over 40 skilled agents available to you, you are in good hands with Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS. Our agents have experience buying and selling homes and properties across the Mid-South extending beyond the Memphis city limits and into the surrounding communities.
Thank You From Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS
As Thanksgiving approaches, we cannot help but thank each of our clients who have made this year so successful. We enjoy what we do because of you. Your faith and trust in our abilities reinforces our commitment to providing the highest level of customer service possible. From all of us at Marx-Bensdorf, REALTORS, thank you for choosing us to represent you in your home purchases and sales.
If you are currently seeking representation from a real estate agent, please give us a call today. We would love to get to know you, and help you select an agent who will work well with you. And, if you don’t have time to do research, our in house agent coordinator can, after speaking with you for just a few minutes, identify an appropriate agent and make the introduction. We are here to serve, as we have been for almost 150 years.