When it comes time to buy or sell a home, most people turn to a real estate agent for help. But with so many agents out there, how do you know which one to choose? And what should you look for in an agent before deciding to hire them?
Keep in mind that not every agent will be a good fit for every person, so it’s important to tailor your search based on your individual needs and preferences. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow when looking for a real estate agent. So, here are some of the most important things to consider before deciding to hire a particular agent:
Find Out If They’re a Full-Time or Part-Time Agent
The first thing you should find out about any potential real estate agent is whether they’re a full-time or part-time agent. There are pros and cons to both, so it depends on what you’re looking for in an agent.
Full-time agents dedicate more time to their careers, which means they might have more experience and knowledge than part-time agents. They also might have a larger network of people they can reach out to when it comes to finding buyers or sellers for your home. On the other hand, part-time agents might be more flexible with their schedules and may even have another job in addition to being a real estate agent. This could be beneficial if you need to sell or buy a home outside of traditional business hours.
Look at Their Past Sales
The Specific experience a real estate agent has can be just as important as the number of years they’ve been in the business. After all, an agent who’s only been working part-time for a few months might have more experience than a full-time agent who’s been in the business for several years but doesn’t have many sales under their belt.
When looking at an agent’s past sales, pay attention to the homes they sold and the prices they were able to get for their clients. Focus on the properties around your desired location. For instance, if you are looking into buying or selling a double-story house in the Elstree area, narrowing your search to agents who have worked in that area and with properties of a similar size will give you a better idea of what to expect. So looking for agents that have a good track record of selling homes in Borehamwood, Elstree or Radlett would be a great starting point. Just remember to look at the agent’s most recent sales rather than sales from several years ago as the housing market can change a lot over time.
Consider Their Personality and Professionalism
Of course, it’s not all about numbers and sales figures. When you’re entrusting someone with such a big life decision, you want to make sure you gel with them on a personal level. After all, you’ll be working closely with this person throughout the entire buying or selling process, so it’s important that you feel comfortable communicating with them and that you trust their judgment.
When meeting with potential agents, take note of how they present themselves and pay attention to the way they communicate with you. Do they seem like someone easy to talk to? Are they patient when answering your questions? Do they seem knowledgeable about the industry and confident in their abilities? These are all important factors to consider.
Ask About Their Marketing Strategies
When selling a home, one of the most important things an agent can do is market the property effectively. After all, the more people who know about the home, the more likely it is to sell quickly and for a good price. So, you want to make sure the agent you hire has a solid marketing plan in place.
When meeting with potential agents, ask them about their marketing strategies and find out how they would go about marketing your home. For instance, will they be using social media? Will they be holding open houses? Will they be reaching out to their network of buyers? It’s also important to ask about their budget for marketing as some agents might charge extra for certain marketing strategies.
Check Their Licences And Certification
Last but not least, you want to make sure the agent you hire is licensed and certified. To work as a real estate agent in the UK, agents must have a valid license from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). They must also be a member of either the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
So, when meeting with potential agents, be sure to ask about their licenses and certification. You can also check the OFT website to see if an agent is licensed. Checking that an agent is licensed and certified will give you peace of mind knowing that they are qualified to help you buy or sell a home.
As you can see, picking the right real estate agent is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are a lot of factors to consider. But if you take your time and do your research, you’ll be sure to find an agent who can help you through the buying or selling process smoothly and successfully.