- 89% of all buyers and sellers work with and use real estate agents/brokers when buying/selling a home, according to the National Association of REALTORS®
- Tips from experts to buyers/sellers on how to find the “right” agent
With all the information about home prices, past sales, market trends, comparable neighborhoods, and school information, do buyers, particularly first-time buyers, still need/want real estate agents? Do sellers, particularly first-time sellers? You bet they do. In fact, the vast majority of buyers AND sellers, some 89% of both, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, use real estate agents or brokers.
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Check out these tips from experts to buyers about how to find the “right” agent and be that right” agent yourself.
- Buyers and sellers are encouraged by experts to ask agents for references.
- When offering your references to potential clients, make sure your website communicates your specialties and your specific market knowledge.
- If, for example, you specialize in pre-war multi-family residences, say so. If you specialize in helping first-time buyers, say so. We could go on and on here but communicate your specialties and market/location knowledge using engaging language anyone can understand.
- Buyers and sellers are encouraged to create a short list of agents/brokers who rise to the top in terms of your specific wants and needs and then to interview each one fact-to-face if at all possible.
- In these real time face-to-face or phone interviews, again communicate your specialties, specific market knowledge and key experiences in such things as deal negotiations, pricing, new construction, multi-generational housing, etc.
- Sarah Staley, consumer spokesperson for realtor.com, advises consumers to, “Consider (finding an agent/broker) like dating. Meet a few…and be sure there’s a personality match.”
- Make sure you know the priorities of your prospective client.
- Help your prospect tell you honestly what they’re looking for in a house…size, timing, and budget parameters…so you know what and when your prospect needs and wants in a home and what is affordable.
- An agent/broker’s job is to tell the prospect the best ways they can work for the client.
- Beware of the prospect who is not open to alternate possibilities.
- Lauren Riefflin, spokesperson for StreetEasy, said, “Part of a broker’s job is to broadly navigate the market and potentially show a buyer new neighborhoods and homes they may not have thought of before. You want to make sure (buyers/sellers) don’t have any mental guardrails that would prevent them from getting a great buy a few blocks away from where (they) want to be.”
- Lawrence Lee, an agent with Triplemint, said, “A broker/agent will tell (the prospect) what’s feasible, what’s not feasible and show (the prospect) alternatives.”
- Consumers want/need to know about your availability.
- Are you full-time? Part time?
- Do you have set hours or are you available to show the prospect a new property that just hit the market at a moment’s notice?
- According to Lee with Triplemint, “You need to accommodate their schedules, their times, their availability, not yours.”
- Prospective clients need to know the fundamental facts of how you operate.
- Communicate your commission splits.
- Make sure the prospect knows that your loyalty rests solely with them, not the buyer or the seller or some other entity.
- Even if the prospect has been searching/working to find or sell a home on their own, make sure and explain why the prospect ought to have a broker/agent BEFORE making or accepting an offer.
Thanks to Curbed’s Emily Nonko for source material.