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How to Choose a Realtor

Using the right Realtor can make a significant difference in the the amount you pay or receive when buying or selling a home, as well as in the efficiency of the entire transaction. But a little homework is a must if you want the most favorable outcomes.

Below are pointers to help you find a Realtor who can provide valuable help:

Choose a professional.

While they may seem to have the same meaning, Realtor, broker and agent should not be used interchangeably. First of all, there are brokers and agents who are not Realtors. Only real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors are Realtors, and as such, they are bound by very strict ethical standards that may be beyond the scope of state law.

Experience matters.

Whether you’re planning to buy or sell a house, choose a Realtor who will not merely put you on their learning curve. One of the first things you need to know about a potential Realtor is the length of time they’ve been licensed and their experience in the area.

Get personal referrals.

Family, friends and co-workers can provide some personal recommendations. Ask for as many details as possible about their experience with the Realtor and whether they were happy with it overall? Go through the local yellow pages or check the Internet for leads. If you’re hiring a Realtor to sell your house, drive around your area and look for sold signs.

Stay local.

Regardless of whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you need a Realtor who knows the ins and outs of the area. Know if they have recently sold or listed in the neighborhood. If you’re buying a property, pick a Realtor who can supply you with crucial information related to the community – for instance, taxes, nearby schools, and so forth. As a seller, your agent should be able to talk to prospective buyers about such details.

Set and stay inside your range.

It’s immaterial whether you’re buying or selling a house – you want a Realtor who will concentrate on your price range. For instance, if you want to purchase a house priced between $250,000 and $300,000, you have to check listings in your local paper to know which listing Realtors are within that range. If a Realtor works with more expensive or cheaper homes, they won’t be as knowledgeable when showing you properties in your own price range.

Look for personal chemistry.

After coming up with a shortlist of Realtors, look for the one who seems to jive best with your personality. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you’ll be spending quite some time with this professional, so it’s important to choose someone you feel compatible with.
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