Along with PCS season, summer is a vital time for those looking to buy or sell their home. Whether your family has outgrown your current home, are looking to buy for the first time or selling as you move on to a new duty station or transition to civilian life, an important first step is finding the right real estate professional for you.
Buying or selling, major decisions about your home are incredibly personal. Selecting an agent that you get along with can make the process less painful – but only if they are also qualified and competent. But how do you hire the right real estate professional for you?
Start with personal recommendations – ask on Facebook who has bought/sold in your area and if they have someone they recommend. With the military community being relatively small, social media is a powerful way to amplify your usual word-of-mouth sources! Use personal recommendations to build a list of real estate professionals to check out. A good rule of thumb is to start with the three that are most frequently recommended – set up a time to interview them, check references and qualifications and go from there.
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Interviewing real estate professionals is a key part of finding something with the experience and knowledge to protect your financial interests who is also a good match personally. Buying and selling homes can be time consuming, spending it working with someone you enjoy goes a long way to reducing the inherent stress.
A key component of the interview should be determining how effectively the real estate professional in question respects your priorities as part of the home search. Ask the agent about homes in the neighborhood and price range that you are interested in. They should be able to tell you the asking price and final price of relevant home sales they were involved in, plus details about area amenities like schools, road work, and community development.
Evaluating an agents experience is a tricky thing. It is not a cut and dry issues – where the longer someone has been in business, the better. While you evaluate your potential real estate professional’s experience consider these key points:
- Are they familiar with the neighborhood you are buying/selling a home in?
- Do they have a solid grasp on social media and current ways to find/market a home?
- How much of their experience is working with clients who have needs like yours? (shopping long distance, financing with VA Loan, etc)
Communication may just be the make or break quality for most home buyers and sellers. It is vital that your agent match your communication style – or at least respect it. Whether you prefer text, email or phone calls, working with someone who is comfortable communicating in a method and with a frequency that you are needing is a great foundation for a smooth professional relationship.
Whatever qualities are most important to you, the key is identifying a real estate professional that respects and values your priorities. Moving has enough stress built in, working with your agent shouldn’t add to it!
We want to know:
What do you look for in a real estate professional?