Navigating the real estate market, whether buying or selling, can be a stressful and mystifying experience. You need a great realtor by your side to help you. Choosing a great realtor can make the difference in how long your house stays on the market or how quickly you find your dream home. The real estate market changes quickly and you need to be able to rely on your agent to keep up and educate.

 For those new to the market or for those looking to make a change, there are a few key things to look for.

Before you meet a realtor, you must do research. This can run from word of mouth, to websites like Zillow or Trulia, or to the realtor’s websites and referrals. You know a great realtor by their visibility, reviews, and stats. Request market comparisons for listed/sold statistics from the agency or realtor.

Where do they rank?

 Where is their agency placed?

Where in the agency do they place?

 A realtor is known by their results. Don’t choose someone who isn’t passionate about their career. Don’t choose a realtor who “shows” house. Choose a realtor who sells them.

A great clue to how dedicated your realtor is involves how available they are and how quickly they get back to you. A great realtor isn’t a part time agent or someone who does real estate on the side. Everything changes quickly and the good buys go fast. (*Tip* My phrase is “Gone Zone”. If you see me comment that a house has hit the gone zone, then that house will be under contract in 7-10 days). Your realtor needs to be involved 24/7. They need to be available for you to call and for other agents to communicate with. They need to respond to your correspondence in a timely manner and do what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it.

The most important quality in a realtor is honesty. Your realtor should tell you the truth regardless if it is what you want to hear. A real estate agent is your guide to the market and your tool for having the best possible transaction. Someone who tells you just what you want to hear is like having a compass that points whichever way you tilt it. Absolutely useless for finding your way. If your home is not getting shown, then your house may be listed for too high a price.

How do we arrive at a list price?

Make sure you always have a good comparable market analysis. This will show you exactly what you need to do to sell your home.  

Some real estate agents are reincarnations of the Great Carnac it seems; holding a card to their forehead and guessing a number they think will please their client without any real research. Honestly, the more your house sells for the more your agent gets paid, and we all like to get paid. But if your home is priced too high or not competitively enough it will just sit there and cost you money.  A realtor worth their salt will tell you the truth about how much the market value on your property is and will provide you with relevant comparables.

If you are a buyer, you need an agent who is in tune with the market. Sometimes the difference between your dream home and settling is a realtor who can recognize an amazing deal as soon as it hits the market. They in turn can let you know, get you into see it, and put it under contract as quickly as possible to lock it down.

Choosing the right Realtor can mean the difference of getting your dream home or watching someone walk away with it. The wrong Realtor can be the difference between your house sitting on the market for years, or a quick transaction.

Buying and selling a house is one of the most financially significant things that will happen in your life.  Do your research and be sure you have the best person for the job.