We all aspire to own a house someday and constantly work hard, arrange finances, manage credit scores and visit numerous properties to just find the right one for us. A real estate agent becomes a partner, an advisor, your representative to find you an appropriate property at the best possible mortgage. He also guides you through the stressful process of all the rate negotiation, lengthy paperwork, and other legal formalities. Once you have made up a mind to book your house, the process starts with the initial online search for an experienced and renowned real estate agent and brokers in your area. With the digital advancement, most of the broker has their online presence, you can visit their website here. You can also review various ‘on sale’ properties and possible financial assistance available in your intended location by using various online real estate sites like www.zillow.com. Mostly people use real estate agents, brokers, and realtors’ words interchangeably for the real estate professionals but there is a slight difference in the pre-requisites for owning such names. Any individual who undergoes a certain number of hours of the education course and training and then successfully clear a state license exam can become an agent. They need to be associated with a licensed real estate broking company to professional perform their right and responsibilities. Brokers are independent practitioners who attain a broker license by passing an additional broker license exam. They can open their own office and independently take the assignments. Realtors are the bigger players who are registered and is a paid-up member of National Association of Realtors and follow a strict code of ethics and procedural specifications. Based upon your budget you can choose from taking services from either an agent or a broker.
Next step is to finalize an agent or a broker by evaluating their scope of experience, credentials, and networks. You may not necessarily settle down with the first choice given. One should at least review few options based upon the certain level of scrutiny done. By getting their inputs for following questions put up to them, you can get the clarity on their level of expertise. 1. How long have they been in this business? Their experience and knowledge about the local market. Also, their conversion rate of prospective deals based on the negotiating skills to get the best price at the current market rates is the main decider.
2. How well connected they are? An established realtor would have a strong network of co-agents, stagers, real estate lawyers and other vital players important in real estate business. Their membership with major authorities and associations can also make a difference.
3. Their market strategies and coordination processes offered. Since at the end of the day it's your money, your time and emotional investment in the property, they should keep you updated with all the marketing plans and various modes of positioning your property in the market that they may opt like staging and professional photography, digital visibility etc.
4. What is their cut or commission? They should be very clear about the fee they will charge and also indicate other sales related expenses that may arise in the process of finalizing a deal. Apart from the financial commitment of paying the cost of the property which is usually covered by the mortgage, their commission is an additional burden.
Collaborating with a good real estate agent can make your home buying experience smooth and enjoyable.