How To Find A Real Estate Agent
Finding the right real estate agent or realtor can be an overwhelming task. This applies to everyone whether you’re buying or selling your 1st home or your 5th home. The real estate market in Montgomery County & Chester County PA is constantly changing. I’m not just talking about the ebb and flow of the market. This also applies to the mortgage process and the home inspection process as well. It is extremely important that you find an real estate agent experienced in all aspects of the buying and selling a home process:
What you should look for in a real estate agent:
1. How long have they been in the business? How many homes have they sold?
Just like in any job – experience is everything. This may be one of the biggest transactions of your life – worth thousands of dollars. Do you really want to put it into the hands of an inexperienced agent? An experienced real estate agent will help reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with every sale or purchase of a home. How much is that worth to you?
“If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair
2. The Home Inspection – You’ve negotiated a price to buy or sell a home and the home is now under contract. That’s great…but you still need to get through the home inspection process. If the home is in great shape – no problem. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. A good home inspector will always find problems with any home. The home inspector will provide a 30 to 50 page report spelling out in detail all of the faults with the home. Now it’s time to renegotiate. How experienced is your PA real estate agent in these matters? This is where you really need to make sure your real estate agent is looking out for your best interest. Your agent’s negotiation skills are critical here.
3. Mortgages – Whether you’re buying or selling your home your PA real estate agent needs to make sure that the loan will be funded at settlement. Ask your agent what steps they’ll take to make sure the mortgage company fulfills their obligation and actually provides the funds at settlement. An experienced agent knows exactly what to look for all along the process to get you to the settlement table. The mortgage industry is very volatile and things fall through the cracks. You’ll want an agent who stays on top of this very importan part of your transaction. You really don’t want to be 10 days out from settlement and find the mortgage company is not prepared to close.
4. Marketing – If you’re selling your home it’s important to know how your agent is marketing your property. As I’m sure you know the internet is where today’s buyers are finding their next home. Many PA real estate agents just list the property on the MLS, take pictures or videos of the property and leave it at that. There is so much more to marketing your home online. Hire an agent who is thinking “outside the box” to get your home sold. Ask for specific details about their marketing plan.. You’ll want a realtor with a website that attracts buyers. A website that attracts buyers provides valuable and up-to-date information for today’s online buyer. This takes an investment of time and money. Most realtors offer just a standard website – little to no expense and little to no effort. Look around the website and read their blog – little to no effort = little to no buyers.
5. Reviews – Please make sure that your agent has numerous positive reviews online. Have you checked out their reviews? Did you know Zillow’s reviews are stringently verified? “There’s no better testimonial about an agent than one from an actual client”.