How to Spot a Good Real Estate Agent

MAY-JUNE 2018|BY CHARIKLEIA STOUKA, OWNER, ALMA REAL ESTATE
Charikleia Stouka, Owner of Alma Real Estate, discusses some dos and don’ts for selling, buying or renting property in a real estate Q&A.

Finding a good real estate agent isn’t always the easiest thing, and knowing what to look for can make a world of difference. So what characteristics should you have in mind in order to spot a real estate agent that’s right for you?

  1. As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so it is essential to actually visit a real estate agent’s office. Email and calls are great, but don’t assign your property to an agent before you’ve met them in person and visited their office. That first impression—the presentation of the agent and the office—should leave you feeling confident that you’re dealing with a professional who respects themself, their place of work, and their clients appropriately.
  2. Communication is the most crucial factor in any transaction. Make sure from the get-go that your real estate agent is able to communicate well with you, that they are both pleasant and effective. You want to be sure that they’ll be able to maintain good rapport with you throughout the process and that they’ll also be able to communicate well with potential buyers or owners of properties for sale as well. After all, when the time comes, they’ll also have to communicate effectively with any lawyers, engineers and notaries involved in completing the transaction. Make sure that they can communicate ideas clearly and in simple terms and that they’re able to provide answers and suggest solutions without fuss.
  3. A good real estate agent should be proactive about staying in touch and keeping you updated at every step of the way—and they should do the same with potential buyers and sellers. Even the smallest detail could prove to be a decisive factor for a successful transaction, so be wary of agents that don’t seem too motivated to maintain good contact.
  4. Make sure that the real estate agent actively listens to you and understands your needs. They should have enough to-the-point questions to make sure they’re on the same page as you, and they should be able to give their professional opinion without pushing you in any direction.
  5. Experience is another key factor that can make or break a transaction. What seems trivial to a new real estate agent could be just the detail that makes all the difference to an experienced agent.
  6. Look for an agent who is well informed and up-to-date with trends and developments in the market you’re in. You want to work with someone who’s actively keeping an ear to the ground and always on the lookout for new leads and clients.
  7. Ask for references. A good real estate agent should be able to immediately provide you with at least ten clients—from the previous 3 to 6 months—willing to provide positive references. Satisfied clients are the best indication that you’re dealing with a competent professional.

To sum up, a good real estate agent should be communicative and proactive, a good listener and experienced professional with a list of satisfied clients.

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