Whether you’re buying a new home, selling the one you have, or both, you’ll be facing a number of important components of the process in the days, weeks, and months to come. From getting the house ready to show and having utilities transferred to changing your address, negotiating deals and more, how you handle the details will make all the difference in the overall quality of the end result.
One of the most overlooked aspects of buying or selling a home is the background of your realtor. All too many rely on a candidate simply because they’ve noticed advertising or heard they were good. However, there are a number of tricks real estate agents can employ to help make their wallets fatter such as advance fees and unrealistic selling prices. If you’re in consideration of a real estate agent, you owe it to yourself to employ a few tips to ensure you choose the right agency for the job.
The Power of the Internet
While it’s no doubt people are busy, we really don’t have much of an excuse not to utilize the power of the Internet as we seek out the best realtor. You should start by making a list of the realtors in your area. Visit each of their websites individually. You should look for aspects such as:
- An overall positive and professional layout
- Blogs with information available to help keep anyone informed
- Credentials, typically listed in the “About Us” section
- Multiple methods of contact
If you notice anything on the website that causes you to doubt their abilities, you should go with your gut and minimize the list. With the remaining candidates, seek out individual reviews from actual clients. Here, you’ll hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yelp is a great site and can help you find what you’re looking for.
It is worth noting that many people will never write a review in their life until they’ve had a bad experience, and it’s not always the realtor’s fault. Therefore, if you notice one or two bad reviews out of dozens of positive ones, use your judgement in determining the credibility.
Don’t Slack Off On Sleep
You likely feel like there’s too much to get done in any given day, but that’s just part of the home buying or selling process. Therefore, accept now that your to-do list is going to stay full until closing papers are signed. It’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that adults get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you find yourself going to bed late and getting up early, you run the risk of developing a number of adverse conditions that can debilitate your decision-making abilities such as:
- Significant decrease in focus and attention
- Cognitive debilitation
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
People often overlook the severity of the lack of proper sleep, but you don’t do yourself any good by staying up two hours past bedtime to look over the property description. Sleep deprivation builds up over time, and you’ll be overall less productive during the course of the entire next day just to get two hours “ahead”. This can make a serious impact on your ability to recognize the best realtor.
A great way to get better sleep without making a significant investment is to consider the purchase of blow up air beds. When you get to the point where you’re moving furniture from one place to the next, you’ll appreciate the ability to still get good sleep to ensure you’re ready to face the next day with energy and focus.
Arrange Meetings With Remaining Candidates
Once you’ve narrowed down your list and you’re physically alert, it’s time to meet with the remaining candidates. It’s very important that you go to each meeting prepared with a criterion list so you can more effectively compare the candidates apples to apples on key components. Just a few to consider include:
- Experience working with sellers and buyers in your price range
- Whether or not they represent both sides of the transaction
- How they will keep open communication with you
- What tools they have at their disposal to market your listing effectively
Once you’ve spoken with each, you’ll likely have developed some likes and dislikes. Listen to your intuition. If you are having trouble choosing from the top candidates, you can call them to request references from former clients to help give you that last push in the right direction before you finally hire the right realtor for you.