31 Aug How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent
Purchasing a home or business is one of the most important events in our lives. While variables such as price, condition and location will naturally come into play, we often overlook another crucial metric. Choosing the right real estate agent can make all the difference in the world between a failed venture and the ability to encounter the opportunity of our dreams.
JK Services owner John Keohane boasts over 25 years of experience within the field of electrical contracting, and he is aware of the real estate hurdles which need to be overcome. Let’s look at what he has to say as well as why planning can save you a great deal of aggravation.
Place Importance on Industry Experience
How long has the estate agent in question been in business? This is arguably the most important concern, as industry experience ensures a smooth overall process. Those who have only recently entered the real estate community might not be able to offer circumspect services. This is particularly crucial if you have questions about the purchase of a buy-to-let property or you are instead worried about predicted market values years into the future. Simply stated, opting for an expert is much better than choosing the cheapest option.
Word of Mouth
Consider the experiences of others. Ask around. Register with forums specifically devoted to the real estate marketplace. While this might seem to be a rather simple step, you will normally be able to encounter invaluable insight. If you come across an agent with mostly negative reviews, be sure to look elsewhere.
What Type of Agent is the Most Relevant?
According to recent statistics, there are close to 22,000 real estate agents across the United Kingdom. Although this is great in terms of variety, choosing the best one can be daunting. One of the best ways to narrow down your options is to decide on which type of agent you need.
For instance, some agents may only offer their services on a part-time basis. Or you might encounter one who is laden with a backlog of customers. While full-time agents could seem like the best choices, this is not always the case. Their commissions may be high and you might be required to wait before they become available. Assuming that a part-time agent is associated with positive reviews, this could very well represent the best solution.
The Issue with Valuations
Let us assume for a moment that you are planning to sell your property to upgrade to a larger home. Valuations are extremely important in this case. However, never be mesmerised by an agent who offers you the highest quotation. This may not always be realistic. It is better to obtain valuations from at least three different agents so that you can begin to appreciate the “big picture”.
Also, valuations mean little if the estate agent is not able to aggressively market your property. What steps is he or she willing to take? Are there any guarantees that your offer receives the proper level of exposure? Have they developed a broad buyer so that niche properties can be accounted for? Make it a point to ask these questions before making a final decision.
When to Sign a Binding Contract
Assuming that your agent has presented a tempting opportunity, you will likely be asked to sign a binding contract. This type of agreement protects both the buyer and the seller. As the name suggests, these contracts are difficult to revoke once they are signed by both parties. Therefore, you will need to review all the terms and conditions before making the final decision.
One sign of a worthwhile estate agent involves an individual who is able and willing to answer any additional questions that you may have. These can include (but might not be limited to):
- VAT concerns
- The agreed price
- Closing fees (very common)
- The date when the transaction will be finalised
The quality of the agent will often be reflected by the answers to these and other questions.
At the end of the day, never be afraid to express doubts if you are confused about the process. There is nothing wrong with taking a bit more time. This will allow you to get greater peace of mind and ultimately, benefit from working with a professional.