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Choosing a Realtor

Buying a new home requires some serious preparation, from increasing your credit score to saving up for a down payment. But that’s hardly all. You also want somebody who will be able to help you find homes you’ll love, search for the mortgage that best suits your needs, and basically just be your guide through the whole financially and emotionally demanding process. That’s where the role of a real estate broker or agent makes a difference.

The following are pointers that can help you find a good realtor:

Know the differences among different real estate professional titles.

The first thing you may notice as you try to get some help with buying properties is that professionals in the industry can use different titles, such as agent, broker, Realtor(R), etc. Are they all the same? Not really. A real estate agent can be anybody who has obtained a license to sell property, after completing over 100 hours of course work and passing a qualifying test administered by the state. A real estate broker is a professional who has completed further his studies and is allowed to have agents working under him. A Realtor can either be an agent or a National Association of Realtors(R) member realtor. Realtors are obliged to follow a strict code of ethics, which dictates how they are supposed to treat their clients. Think of it as extra insurance that they’re devoted to your cause.

Don’t limit yourself to one prospective real estate broker or agent.

The NAR says at least 66% of first-time buyers contacted only one real estate broker, and that a wrong practice. Besides, how can you be certain that you made a good choice if you didn’t even have choices in the first place? Whatever additional legwork you do today can certainly pay off in the future. Make sure you explore at least two or three agents and grill them before deciding who’s right for you.).

Set up an interview with your prospects.

This is one crucial step you’re not allowed to skip. And during the interview, make sure you ask about the following:

Specific Local Knowledge and Experience

You want a seasoned agent–and though they don’t need decades of experience, choosing someone who has only been in the industry for a year or two can be risky. A freshly licensed agent, on the other hand, shouldn’t be instantly erased from your list of prospects if they have been residing in your chosen area for a long time. Try to strike a balance between general and local experience before you make a decision.

With or Without a Team?

If an agent works with a team, you can expect faster response times and greater attention. Obviously, this is because a lot of people will be working on the same tasks, such as drawing up a realtor marketing plan.

Agent Schedule

Finally, as much as possible, choose a full-time agent to ensure that availability will not be an issue. If you can only see houses during their convenient time, you could be missing out on many good ones. If you need to purchase a house ASAP, availability becomes all the more important.