1. Are you FULL TIME? Important because of the fast pace ever changing market you cannot chance that the most expensive purchase you will make in the hands of a part time agent.
2. Internet Savvy professional? 90% of business starts on the internet for buyers and sellers. Your agent must be active and innovative on the internet.
3. Will you be with me from start to finish? This is important and includes anything from overseeing fixing up your home to sell, staging of furniture, home inspection, weekly market updates, ideas to increase market exposure and being present at closing.
4. If you take a vacation who will assist me if needed? Yes, your Real Estate broker is human and available almost 24/7 for you. However a well deserved vacation is needed once in awhile. Make sure you know ahead of time if this were to occur ,during that time when a fantastic home on Webster St in downtown Naperville, walking distance to the train, priced under 300k appears on the MLS, when your agent is sailing in the South of France , that you are set with the same TOP NOTCH service agent to fill in for your agent. Yes most Brokers plan vacations during slower seasons such as early January, however if that is the time your GEM appears you are fully covered.
5. What negotiating skills do you have? Yes, what is your background? Do we need Donald Trump? No but we do need a sharp agent who is up to date and knows not to let you over pay as a buyer and when to accept a offer on your home. Interestingly, your first offer is usually your best.
6. Do you have a college degree or equivalent work experience ? Yes most Brokers take their education seriously including many extra classes that go up and above to increase their knowledge and education. However very few states require a college degree or business background experience when applying for a Real Estate license. We have to remember just obtaining a Real Estate license is the minimum requirement by the State not by YOU. Since commission structures demand TOP NOTCH. Don’t be confused with Top Producer as some may be BOTH but others may prefer to service fewer at a time but high contact and visibility. Both may work.
7. What can I expect from you after the home is closed? The answer is I am here for you. Your the agents greatest source of referrals and future income. Your Realtor has contacts from painters, to landscapers, to window installers and many others who are their own list of reliable and reasonable workers who will make your new title as a home owner easier because they have researched this for you. You may need a preschool or doctor recommendation. The list is endless. You should be a text, email or phone call away from communication even after the keys are handed over. Sometimes they are your first friend in Town. KEEP THIS IS MIND WHEN CHOOSING YOUR BROKER/AGENT.
8. LIKE YOUR AGENT ! This may catch me some flack but I said LIKE. Feel comfortable. You may spend hours with this person. Please you have to feel comfortable. Share, talk and laugh. This can be stressful. A great agent will help you overcome this. And please if you have kids pick an agent who does too. When you are looking at homes you need to consider the big picture.
9. Humor! Yes, talented educated Realtors have seen everything in then some. Humor makes this experience which can be breath taking at times and full of non stop anticipation of where you will live, a lot easier in the more stressful times. This should be a positive experience for all involved.
10. TRUST! This is so important. This person is here to help and assist you, educate you and be their for you. This is not a Sales position. They are here as your Real Estate Expert. Yes they are not paid until closing but you are finding the home of your needs and hopefully dreams using a highly educated agent who can be there for and will be there for after the paycheck. In reality is not about the paycheck for the agent who has the PASSION for finding someone their dream home. That satisfaction is more important than the bottom line. When you find a agent who is just excited about selling a 50k home as a 500k home you know you have one with a heart you can trust.
I will add more later. Please feel free to add on. As in life I am POSITIVE so please keep the tips coming!
Your 3rd Generation Broker