I remember buying my first home. I can safely say I was one of the most uneducated buyers around and sadly I received little support from my agent. Of course since this was long ago before I became a Realtor, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. It wasn’t until many years later when a friend of mine began her career in real estate that I learned what was missing. At this point I decided that I didn’t want anyone else to have the same experience that I had. After all, purchasing a home is one of, if not the most important purchase in a person’s lifetime and it should be accomplished with extreme care and professionalism. Subsequently, I became a licensed Realtor.
During the last 8+ years, I have been blessed to have received some great training from some of the BEST in the industry. I believe education and communication are the key to ensuring a successful experience and transaction to all buyers and sellers. When the opportunity to share some of these insights became available, I jumped at the chance. I hope to present information that is helpful in answering your questions regarding the real estate market or home ownership in general.
The best place to start is the beginning, so let’s review some essential qualities of a good Realtor! First of all I would like to explain that there is a difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent. While both are licensed to sell real estate, a Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors which means they subscribe to the Realtor Code of Ethics. This Code contains 17 articles that include strict standards of behavior. This is not to say that agents that are not Realtors are unethical, but just to say that agents that are members of the National Association of Realtors are held to a higher standard of accountability.
As far as other characteristics of agent selection, there is no “one size fits all” as we all have different personalities and ways in which we prefer to communicate. Since we have all met the same educational requirements, let’s focus on some other important characteristics. First, select a Realtor you TRUST. Someone that you feel will help guide you through the home buying/selling process and help facilitate all parties involved such as lenders, inspectors, escrow agents in a manner that will help you achieve the successful closing of your transaction. Secondly, select a Realtor that is ACCESSIBLE. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to reach your agent and always getting voicemail or never getting a return email. You want someone who will respond within a reasonable amount of time, if not immediately especially since they may be getting calls to sell your home! Make sure to set up your expectations up front when you are establishing your relationship so the Realtor knows how and when you like to communicate. Lastly, select a Realtor with a proven sales EXPERIENCE and market KNOWLEDGE. No agent knows everything but it is important to find someone that is motivated and knows how to utilize their resources to get the answers you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for references if you are not sure.
Buying or selling your home does not have to be an unpleasant experience. With some thought and preparation and working with the right team you will achieve your real estate goals.
I hope this information has been helpful. Should you have any specific questions or ideas for a future column, you may reach me at TheRealDealwithDiana@yahoo.com.