A typical real estate transaction involves many different professionals such as contractors, bankers, mortgage loan officers, inspectors, appraisers, and property managers, among others.
For home buyers and sellers however, no other person plays a more significant role than a real estate agent, who’s responsible for facilitating the entire process.
A skilled real estate agent is like a conductor of an orchestra, coordinating the different players in order to guide clients towards a harmonious transaction. They play multiple roles during different points of the process, including salesperson, analyst, consultant, buyer’s advocate, and negotiator, just to give you a few.
That said, working with an experienced and knowledgeable agent is the best way to achieve your real estate goals. Here’s a list of qualities to look for when you’re choosing a real estate agent:
Local and industry knowledge
You want to find someone who possesses extensive knowledge of the local market, along with real estate laws, the home buying and selling process, and important aspects of the real estate game.
Working with an agent who has in-depth knowledge will give you a better idea of the likely value of a property, and will help you understand the different rules and regulations in specific areas and communities.
Strong communication skills
The most successful real estate agents know exactly how to communicate the interests of their clients. Moreover, an agent who has solid communication skills will help you understand all pertinent matters before a contract is finalized, and will be able to negotiate all aspects of a deal in a way that both parties benefit.
An excellent listener
Communication is a two-way street – having good communication skills means the agent should be an excellent listener as well.
Remember to pay close attention to a prospective agent when it’s your turn to talk, and see if they retain any information you provide. If you tell them that you have a maximum budget of $300,000 for example, then the selection of properties they provide should fall within that price range.
A good listener is able to ascertain your requirements and preferences easily, creating a strategic approach based on the information you provide.
You want to work with an agent who will be truthful and upfront during the entire transaction, even if the outcome will not be in your favor. An honest agent will inform buyers in case there’s unseen issues with the home they’re interested in, and will help sellers price their home accurately.
Going through a real estate transaction is often stressful, but working with a trusted professional means you have one less thing to worry about.
Efficient time-managing skills
Real estate is a highly demanding business, which means agents who are able to manage their schedules efficiently are the ones who usually make it to the top.
A good agent knows when to act fast, or when to give clients more time before they make an important decision. This is especially true in hot real estate markets, where properties move fast and decisions need to be timed perfectly.