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How to Choose a Realtor

Buying a new house needs some serious prep work, starting with straightening up your credit background to saving up sufficient funds for the deposit. But that’s hardly all. You also want somebody who will be able to help you find homes you’ll love, search for the mortgage that best suits your needs, and basically just be your guide through the whole financially and emotionally demanding process. That’s where the services of a real estate broker or agent come in handy.

Below are tips that can help you find a good realtor:

Understand the different titles used by real estate professionals.

The first thing you may observe when looking for home-buying help is the different titles used by industry professionals – agent, broker, Realtor(R), and the rest. Do they all mean the same? Of course not! A real estate agent can be anybody who has obtained a license to sell property, after completing over 100 hours of course work and passing a qualifying test administered by the state. A real estate broker is a professional who has completed further his studies and is allowed to have agents working under him. A Realtor can either be an agent or a National Association of Realtors(R) member realtor. Realtors are obliged to follow a strict code of ethics, which dictates how they are supposed to treat their clients. Think of it as extra insurance that they’re devoted to your cause.

Consider more than real estate broker or agent.

The NAR says at least 66% of first-time buyers contacted only one real estate broker, and that a wrong practice. After all, how can you say you’ve made the right choice if you didn’t even look into other options? Any legwork you put in extra can actually pay off in the long term. Explore at least two or three agents, compare them and choose the best.

Set up an interview with your prospects.

This is one crucial step you’re not allowed to skip. And during the interview, ask questions that delve into the following:

Knowledge and Experience in the Local Scene

You want to work with a seasoned agent–not necessarily with decades of experience, but at least with more than two years of experience. On the other hand, someone who just received their license shouldn’t be automatically eliminated from consideration if they have been a long-time resident of your preferred area. Balance overall experience versus local experience when you decide.

With or Without a Team?

If you choose an agent who is part of a team, you can expect them to respond to your concerns in a more timely manner, as well as give you more attention. This is obviously because there will be other people working toward the same goal, such as creating a realtor marketing plan.

Availability and Schedule

Finally, as much as possible, choose a full-time agent to ensure that availability will not be an issue. If you can only see houses during their convenient time, you could be missing out on many good ones. If you need to purchase a house ASAP, availability becomes all the more important.

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