They say that experience is the best classroom and some of the best real estate agents have years of experience with a variety of transactions. Experienced agents have survived the cyclical challenges of real estate and understand what it takes to buy or sell a home in tough times and in great times. They have worked with buyers and sellers of all types and understand the art of negotiation. Most importantly, they are dedicated full-time to their career in real estate and are extremely knowledgeable about the markets and geographies they serve. Make sure you understand how long they have been in business on a full-time basis.
All real estate agents are required to be licensed in accordance with their state and/or local real estate associations. However, not all real estate agents carry the designation of Realtor®. The term Realtor® refers to an agent who has taken the additional step of membership in the National Association of Realtors and abides by a strict code of ethics. There are many other credentials and certifications that a real estate agent can obtain. Most of these designations have additional educational and training requirements and further demonstrate the agent’s commitment, knowledge level and experience in the industry. Most importantly, search their name to understand any legal problems or complaints they may have.
Since every market is different, you’ll want to be sure you’re working with an agent who thoroughly understands your needs and the market in which you are buying or selling. Here are some sample questions you can ask:
- How many first-time home buyer’s have you worked with in the past year?
- How many buyers have you helped move into this neighborhood?
- Do you have a process for working with buyers? How will communicate with me?
- What type of inspections do you typically recommend?
- In what neighborhoods have you sold the most homes in the past 3 months? (This can be an indicator of market knowledge and whether they are familiar with the neighborhoods where you would like to look)
- How many homes have you sold in our neighborhood or zip code?
- How many homes have you listed and sold in the past year?
- Do you have a process for marketing our home? What does that look like?
- How will you determine the listing price for our home?
- What is your list to sale ratio?
- Will you personally work with me or will I be handed off to another agent?
Dedicated Buyer/Seller Agent
Another great resource is to utilize the services of a dedicated agent. This means that the agent primarily works with Buyers or Sellers and therefore, has probably honed in on the effective techniques, common challenges, negotiation skills and knowledge to get deals done quickly and effectively. It’s up to you to make a list of your priorities and to choose wisely. If you want a trusted team that has dedicated Buyer Agents and Seller Agents, contact The Donnelly Group, where your needs are our priority. We are devoted to serving your needs with honesty, integrity and ethical behavior at all times, in everything we do. As a real estate firm in the top 1% of our industry in Maryland, we have the expertise and resources necessary, whether you are selling or buying a home.