There are a lot of questions one asks when deciding on a broker: When you find an agent to take you to a home you like, you wonder if this is the agent that you want to negotiate on your behalf. Do they have refined negotiating skills in a bidding situation? Are they going to be able to talk through home inspection repair items? Will they attend to your concerns in having the home inspection items fixed? Do they have knowledge of how the entirety of the process works? How is their team? Do they have a lender partner? Do they have an attorney that they work with on a regular basis? What are their professional relationships like? Are they going to put their team together in helping you with the home purchase process? And on and on… Also, a word of caution that there are those agents who merely chase the commission and all they want to accomplish is the sell. They may try to build value in useless and unneeded services. All of these questions and concerns can addle the mind of someone looking for an agent, but all this to say, really, choosing an agent is not this complicated. At the end of the day, all one needs to know is that a house really sells itself and there is only a few criteria needed in your broker selection process: You need to find a reliable agent. That’s all. Find one who understands your needs and wants, one that is in touch with how the process works, and one who is going to be the best fit for you.
Choosing an agent is all about finding a person with which you can connect, finding a person you trust. Incidentally, I find it necessary to remark that referrals are not always the best option; family is also not always the best option. Having been a broker myself for the last ten years, working with friends and family can get tricky. We’ve found over time at ERA Russell Realty Group that sometimes friends and families cut corners. They may have the relaxed feelings concerning the business process that they might not need to work quite as hard as they would if they were with a complete stranger, “Oh, well, this my brother, so I don’t need to do this.” Or “That’s just my cousin. I don’t need to do that.” We find that oftentimes working with friends and family can, unfortunately, be more stressful than working with an independent person that you’ve only just met. A further word of caution concerning teaming up with friends and family: Make sure that if you do decide on a friend or a family member, that you have the “Hey, I need to make sure you’re on the top of your game. I need you to treat me like a customer. I need you to be doing what I need you to do so that I am in the best position I can be to buy the home I’m looking for” conversation upfront.
So, when you come across an agent that you like, that you trust, that has the tools that you need, that understands where you are, and where you are trying to go, that’s the agent you should work with. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the first agent you contact, the second agent, the third, or the fourth… Your ultimate goal is to find someone that you can work with. Don’t worry about hurting the agent’s feelings! This is about you! You need to figure out what’s best for you.
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