You've finally decided to take the plunge and buy a home. But with hundreds of Realtors active in every community, where do you start? Following are some questions you may want to ask to help find the Realtor that’s right for you:
- Is your Realtor a licensed, full-time professional? While there are many part-time Realtors who sell homes as a hobby to earn extra income, real estate is a very demanding 24/7 profession, one that requires a full knowledge of inventory, comparable sales, pricing strategies, and financing options. You should be able to rely on your Realtor to offer professional advice on any problems that crop up during negotiations, inspections, appraisals, and any issues that arise after closing.
- Does your Realtor live in or close to the community you are considering? Look for a Realtor who does, as she will likely have extensive knowledge of local school districts, private schools, recreational activities, sports facilities, and newcomers clubs, as well as area professionals, businesses, and services.
- Is your Realtor easy to reach and on top of today's technology? Since most full-time Realtors are often out of the office viewing properties with clients, it’s important to find out how easily they can be contacted. Do they check their text and emails and reply promptly? Will they return your calls the same day? Do they market their properties on social media? It’s crucial that they are up to date with the latest technology to stay on top of the market and keep you informed.
- Does your Realtor provide references? Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if they can recommend a Realtor, then do your own homework. Search for their names online, visit their websites, and check their current listings and sales. Find out how long they’ve been licensed to practice real estate, whether they’re active in all price ranges, and if they have current or past clients willing to give you a reference or testimonial.
- Will your Realtor help you reach your goals? Make sure you interview more than one Realtor before you decide whom to hire. You may be working with your agent for several months, so it is important to find someone you like and trust. Your agent should be very people-oriented, professional, passionate about his/her job, and be a skilled problem-solver, willing to work tirelessly on your behalf to reach your goals. The best Realtors will save you time and money, and can turn a potentially overwhelming and stressful experience into a smooth and successful transaction.
Fiona Dogan is a Licensed Realtor® in the Rye office of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. She is a Westchester Five Star Real Estate Agent, Platinum Award winner, and an Accredited Buyer Representative. For more information, please contact Fiona Dogan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.fionadogan.com.