Here in Charleston, you may find yourself with a lot of choices when it comes to Realtors and real estate agents. Because of this, it can be difficult to separate the average agents from those who truly excel. Here’s what to look for when choosing an agent to represent you in your real estate dealings.
Communication is one of the most important skills a Realtor or real estate agent must have, let alone for any business. After all, you’re going to be in touch frequently throughout the home buying or selling process, so you want your representative to be as accessible as possible. Real estate doesn’t necessarily follow traditional business hours, so your agent shouldn’t either. Ask about their policies on after-hours or weekend communication to ensure they’ll be accessible when you have questions or need advice.
You want to choose an agent who will find exactly what you are looking for, and this requires getting to know your taste and preferences. Attention to detail is vital for this, so look for an agent who will take the time to get to know you on a personal level and truly understands your needs and preferences, not just for the size and location of the home but also in terms of the layout, style and any other preferences you may have.
It is helpful to have a Realtor who has experience helping clients buy and sell the type of home you are seeking. For example, if you are looking for a luxury property in an upscale area, an agent whose experience comes mostly from starter homes in affordable areas may not be the best fit. This doesn’t mean that an up-and-coming agent can’t help you, but you may be better off with a Realtor who better understands your market. Ask about past sales and purchases to get a better sense of their forte.
Some Realtors are more aggressive than others in terms of negotiating, so you want to ensure that your representative will stand up for what you want. Of course, you need to have room for some flexibility, as the other party will have their interests in mind as well, but you want to have confidence that your agent is doing everything in their power to achieve favorable results for you.
Knowledge of the local area is absolutely critical for the agent you choose. You want someone who either lives in the area themselves or has been working there for a long time. This way, they’ll have insider knowledge as to which schools are the best, where the top amenities are located and other information that may be important to you. This is especially important if you are moving from another city or state and aren’t familiar with the area yourself.
It’s one thing to be a great Realtor during the process or buying or selling a home, but it is quite another to maintain relationships with clients after the deal closes. Every agent will work closely with you during the process, but many are not as attentive after the fact. Ask the Realtors you are considering what ongoing services they may provide. If they don’t have a good answer, you may want to look elsewhere to find someone more attentive.
Finding the right Realtor is almost as important as finding the right home, so be sure to take your time in choosing your agent. Ask pointed questions, and make note of the answers to reference later when it comes time to make your decision. With a bit of patience and research, you are sure to find the perfect agent to represent your interests.