Choose Your Agent Wisely

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A Wisely-Chosen Agent Is An Invaluable


Ally In Real Estate Transactions

Learn to Appraise a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate agent to assist with the buying or selling of your home can be a challenging process, but a well researched and wisely-chosen agent is an invaluable ally in real estate transactions.

An ideal agent should have extensive local knowledge, along with impeccable negotiating skills. But how does one find that agent?
Are real estate agents even necessary in this day and age?
Or are their services becoming less necessary in the Internet age—like stockbrokers and travel agents?

The surprising answer is “no”. Real estate professionals are actually working more today than ever—a recent survey finds that 90 percent of homebuyers used an agent to help buy their home; a 20 percent increase since 2001. One may wonder why this is so when so much information and resources are available to everyone, but the explanation for the proliferation is quite understandable: “the more frequent and the less expensive a purchase is, the less necessary a middleman becomes”.

This makes perfect sense—high stakes necessitate high expertise. Whereas amateur stock traders and folks planning their family vacations have all of the tools within reach to handle their own transactions, real-estate transactions are still much better off when steered by the hands of an industry professional. The role of agents has changed in recent years, with the role of agent transforming from information gatekeeper to a more service-oriented role; bringing their expertise to the complicated processes of pricing and negotiating.

So how to decide on an agent? Firstly, it’s important to recognize that real estate agents tend to specialize—either in helping clients buy homes, or helping them sell. Within those specialties, there are a multitude of “types”. The upper upper echelon of sellers (the “1-percenters”), sell at least twenty-two homes every year. The top 10-percent of sellers sells an average of seven homes per year, and the median agent sells two.

It may seem obvious to select the most experienced seller with the highest number of homes sold, but there’s a caveat: the most experienced agents will often have the largest client list. This, more often than not, means they’ll have more homes to show, more people to keep in touch with, and therefore less personalized time for each individual client. In the end, our data has shown that “there is no statistical difference in final dale price between a home sold by a thirty-year veteran and a home sold by a three-year rookie”. In the end, what matters most are your desires in how personal of a relationship you’d like with your agent.

What it all boils down to is your preference, as the client. Are you willing to wait things out for a better price, or is time a factor? Thankfully, there are a multitude of resources to help with your decision—between word-of-mouth and websites like Zillow, where buyers and sellers are able to leave detailed reviews and rate realtors in multiple categories.

As a general rule, “agents who are actively involved with other agents and consumers also tend to be better agents”. Decide what you want, then see what others have to say, then make your decision; the resources are plentiful.


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