The decision to buy or sell a home is one of the most important and emotional decisions you will make. It’s also often complicated to involve multiple parties, from real estate agents to lenders, attorneys, and title companies. Understanding your role as a consumer can help make this an enjoyable experience for you and your family.
Suppose you are planning to move to a new home. In that case, you will most likely have the choice of hiring either an individual real estate agent or team from a local brokerage firm or choosing an international corporation that provides realty services. There is no right answer for every person moving into a new neighborhood, but here are several things to consider when finding the right real estate professional, be it a local real estate lender or a national franchise:
1) Experience and Commitment
Find an experienced realtor in the area you want to buy or sell your home who has access to direct marketing tools, technology, and consumer resources. Whether you want to work with an independent local agent or one of many franchise options, make sure it’s someone who will be there for you throughout your home buying or selling process.
2) Use of Technology
A successful real estate agent is open to technology and will utilize the tools at their fingertips, including online marketing programs for pre-qualifying buyers, property tours, and virtual tours.
The use of technology is playing an increasingly important role in how real estate professionals like Bill Starkey, CEO of Starkey Construction, LLC, communicate with each other and their clients. Real estate agents are no longer limited to working within specific geographic areas. They can expand their business horizons by reaching more people through social media channels.
The internet has made it possible for real estate professionals to find listings from almost anywhere in the world. Reaching beyond local customers can be beneficial for a real estate professional, but there will always be clients that will only work with someone who is physically located in their area.
3) Access to Lenders
A local real estate agent has access to multiple lenders, but they will only select one for the final transaction. A national franchise may have one or more preferred lenders they work with, but this is ultimately your decision. When selecting a lender, check out their interest rates and fees and any pre-payment penalties.
4) Access to Listings
A local real estate agent is part of a community and has the most up-to-date listings and access to past listings, new home developments, and all local agents’ contact information. A national franchise might access this information but will probably not be as knowledgeable about it as your local agent.
5) Access to Buyers
Your local real estate professional has the most direct access to potential buyers in the neighborhood you are looking to sell your home because of their knowledge, expertise, and relationships with other area agents. A national franchise might have similar buyer connections but mainly advertise your house on its website or network.
6) Earning A Commission
A local agent earns their commission. A national franchise splits commissions with the home buying network, including Realtor associations. If you are working with an individual broker or team member, make sure they are not earning a portion of your commission.
In the end, your choice should be a team you feel comfortable working with. You should trust the real estate profession and have a good rapport with them and their brand’s reputation for quality service. Never forget to ask any potential real estate professional what sets their company apart from the others and why they should be chosen as your buyer or seller representative.