Finding the Right Agent for Your Real Estate

By: Ted Gaurnero

No, you're not looking for someone with super human powers, extreme sexual prowess and access to stealth spy ware- really, a real estate agent doesn't have to be James Bond. But, guaranteed there are certain characteristics that'll help define a good agent and will help you as you define your search for a representative.

To begin with, there are many distinct categories of agent that are not mutually exclusive positions. For example a real estate agent, a realtor and a real estate broker are not entirely the same things. Basically they all denote varying levels of experience and education, with real estate agent on the lesser end of that scale, and broker on the upper echelon of education, experience and certification. Of course, each of these positions does require some standardized level of education and certification.

In the end, although certification can indicate certain levels of knowledge and experience, what's most important is the local knowledge, energy and commitment they have to the job. Trust that finding an individual agent who embodies these characteristics is much more important than going with a big franchised real estate agency. The individual talent is much more important than going with a "big-box" brand name in real estate. After all, it's the individual who will be doing all the grunt work for you.

It's also important to find an appropriate agent for your needs. Many agents are seller's agents, which means they mainly represent clients who are selling their home. This is great if you're looking to sell your home, but if you're in the business of buying a home, then you'll want an agent who works primarily as a buyer's agent.

Similar to the James Bond caliber of agent, experience in the field is key to success. When you sit down to interview some agents ( and it's recommended you look into at least three agents to cross compare) find out how long they've been practicing and in what capacities. If you can find someone whose been in the business for at least a couple years, then you can rest assured their serious about the business and have the experience to back them.

As you interview potential representation, you'll also want to find out how well they know and have serviced the particular areas/neighborhoods you're interested in. Your agent will also be a guide through these areas, and the more they know about the areas in general and about the history of homes sales in these neighborhoods, the better. You'll want to find someone who has a finger on the pulse of the markets you're looking into.

In your interview, see what kind of commitment you can get out of prospective agents. Ideally you'll want to find someone who is willing and able to help you according to your schedule. Usually this will be an agent who works, " full time", which also means anytime. Be wary of agents who work part-time as you may find they can not attend to your needs and your schedule.

So far these are mostly hints for those looking for buyers agents. If you're looking into sellers agents then it's important to clearly find out what the seller will do to sell your home. Not all agents or agencies work in the same way. Basically, the more pro-active your agent the better. So go with someone who has a plan to advertise as much as possible and really get your property out there, and in the best light possible.

Another way to discover a great agent is to keep your ears open and to listen to referrals from friends or relatives who've had a great real estate experience. No better way, than through a glowing referral to get you on the right track to the right agent.

So while you may not be looking for Mr. James Bond, remember that a 007 real estate agent is one who understands their business inside and out, and who is 100% ready and willing to work to achieve your real estate goals.

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