Choosing a realtor is not a simple task, which is why we took the initiative to come up with a list of the best realtors and brokers in New York. Nevertheless, if you want to take the traditional way, you should pack your bag with lots of discipline, patience, and good judgment so as to avoid hiring a terrible realtor.
Here are 14 tips for sellers and buyers.
1. Walk around the neighborhood to look for signs.
We are not referring to signs from heaven, but real “for sale” signs. Take a walk or ride a bike in the neighborhood your property is located at or you want to move in. Signs indicate the most prolific real estate company or realtor handling the properties there.
2. Look for referral.
Ask family and friends for recommendations if they have any. You can also talk to homeowners and ask if they know an active realtor in the area. You may be lucky to talk to someone who just moved in with fresh contact.
3. Make a shortlist.
After getting referrals and finding a list from the real estate company database, create a shortlist based on their given information and portfolio. Rounding up 10 realtors in preparation for an interview is good enough.
4. Check out reviews.
These days, reviews of realtors are everywhere, from their company profile pages to online forums. You can also check out with their regulatory bodies to know if disciplinary actions or formal complaints have already been filed against them.
5. Find out how they work by Googling your candidates.
Nowadays, you can easily have an idea of a person’s behavior and work ethics just by checking his online profiles. Look at his social media accounts. You can meet satisfied or irate clients there. LinkedIn is also a useful site for due diligence.
6. Interview several agents and compare their answers.
You need to have options, so interview all of those who will make it to your shortlist. Don’t choose or announce your choice just yet without interviewing everyone. Compare their answers to look at the differences.
7. Ask questions that matter.
When interviewing a realtor, three questions matter the most. How many deals have they closed in the previous and present years? How many deals involved your area or the area you want to buy a property at? How are they planning to meet your demands and offer you the best service?
8. Inform the agent of your price range.
An agent should be able to stick with your price range instead of prioritizing other things, such as your preferences. Be wary about this. Some realtors work around your preferences because it is easier to convince you when there are emotions involved. Just give the figure and stick with it.
9. Lay down your communication expectations.
One of the biggest problems between a seller and a buyer, and a realtor and a client is the communication line. Many clients expect frequent updates, but don’t give schedules. Don’t rely on mental telepathy. Say your preferred schedule of update.
10. Check out the license and pertinent track records.
A licensed realtor should be able to provide license number and ID from the National Association of Realtors and his regulatory body (state dependent). Track records also include portfolio and legal cases if any. Be particularly attentive to portfolio whether you are asking him to sell your property or find you one.
11. Look for the right credentials.
Aside from license, most realtors also have additional distinctions in the real estate industry. These distinctions are acquired by taking additional courses and training. The credentials to look for include Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM), Accredited Land Consultant (ALC), Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Counselor of Real Estate (CRE), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Green Designation, Resort and Second-Home Markets Certification (RSPS) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).
12. Contact some of the agent’s former clients.
Ask the realtor to give you random contact information of former clients. This is to know more about his performance in the past. Don’t believe a realtor who says all of his clients want to maintain confidentiality because realtors maintain clients who are open for communication.
13. Pay attention to negotiation skills.
Don’t be impressed too much of an agent’s portfolio. Pay attention to how he presents himself and answers your questions because his negotiation skill is the real winning quality. You want to hire someone who can sell your house for a higher price, or find you a house that you can buy for a lower price.
14. Focus on what the agent can do, not what he can’t do.
Don’t look for a lot of qualities that don’t really matter in a negotiation. Some clients ask for financial advice from realtors, but they not are financial advisors by practice. Some also ask for interior design and landscaping tips, but they are not trained interior designers and landscape artists.
You can take the rougher road of selecting a realtor yourself, but you also have the option to look for a list of credible realtors as collected by another organization. We are proud to say that we can provide some of the best realtors in New York, which saves you a lot of time and money.
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