|WORKING WITH YOUR AGENT|
Selecting the right real estate professional to help you buy or sell your home
is essential to a smooth transaction. For the best possible experience, you
should consider an agent's experience, personality and responsiveness in your
Here are some tips to help you choose and work with your agent.
How to choose an agent
Ask friends and family for referrals.
If you've found the general area in which you'd like to move, do an informal survey by driving through neighborhoods and viewing yard signs. Seeing the same name pop up time after time may indicate that person is a specialist in the area.
Pay attention to designations. This is how you will know in what a real estate agent specializes. You may be interested in these designations: ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative), CLHMS (Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist), CRP (Certified Relocation Professional), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist). There are dozens of designations agents pursue for continuing education, so find one that fits your needs.
Once you have your list narrowed down to about three real estate professionals, schedule interviews. Agents may ask to meet at your home if you are selling. If you are buying, expect to meet the agents at their offices.
Once you've found the right agent to represent you, hold up your end of the relationship. There are simple things you can do to help your agent get you the best deal.
How to work with your agent
When selling, talk to the agent about upgrading. Your home may need fresh paint or new carpet. (Make sure you choose neutral colors.)
If selling, keep it clean. Eliminate cobwebs and dust. Keep the bathroom counters and mirrors wiped down. Vacuum and sweep daily during the selling process.
If buying, be clear
about what you want. Make a list of your priorities numbered one through 10
and give it to your agent. You can always revise the list, but give your
agent something concrete so he or she can research available listings
Your agent is an authority you hire to help you make the right decisions, but when push comes to shove, you have the final word.
Hiring an expert will give you
the best advantage. Although many agents work their real estate businesses
Buying a home is likely to be the biggest single investment you'll ever make. Invest wisely.
Remember that home values fluctuate with the economy.