The best real estate agent brings a huge amount of value to a property sale transaction and will showcase skills and expertise that have great importance to you whether you are a property buyer or property seller.
The property sales process is a very long and involved process and you could be working with a real estate agent for many weeks. Which is why its important that both you and the agent are on the same page at all times. You have to remember that this is a business relationship – so you are looking to “work” with your real estate agent and not trying to make a new friend.
Let me list here some of the many advantages of working with a great real estate agent:
- Peace of Mind: It feels good to know that you have a knowledgeable and experienced person helping you navigate through the many hurdles of buying a property or having someone managing the sale of your biggest asset. You can also rest assured that this work is something that the agent does almost every day
- Money Saved: Your real estate agent is part of your profits and not your costs. Your real estate agent will negotiate to put more money in your pocket or help you buy a property at cheaper rates than what you could achieve if you set out to do these things on our own.
- Less Stress: Buying or Selling a home is a complex process. If it were easy everyone would do it themselves. Once you decide to go with an agent you can relax and let them do their job for you.
Attributes of a Great Real Estate Agent
Great real estate agents come in all types of shapes and sizes. But some of the definitions that happy buyers and sellers use to describe a great agent are as follows:
Active – Doesn’t wait – makes things happen
Analytical – Knows what is important to you and focuses on the finer details
Approachable – Is easy for buyers and sellers to talk to
Assertive – Takes control and commands respect
Authentic – Is a problem solver and not a messenger
Businesslike – Operates in a calm and positive manner
Communicative – Keeps you in the loop
Confident – Knows that they are the right agent for you
Dedicated – Is prepared to work hard to achieve results
Determined – Is prepared for the long haul and stay the course especially when things become tough
Direct – Has a clear vision, clear values and a solid plan for success
Disciplined – Hold themselves to a higher standard than others
Driven – You need a real estate agent who prides himself on getting the best price for your property or finding you the best property to buy within your budget range
Empathetic – Always puts themselves in the shoes of the buyer and the seller
Enthusiastic – Always energetic and a go-getter and should be thrilled to be helping you buy and sell property by showing your homes to many prospective buyers
Focused – To deliver what you want at all times
Generous – Is open and giving of time, attention and knowledge
Honest – Always tells you the truth and not just what you want to hear
Humorous – Has a sense of humour thus making it easy for buyers and sellers to work with them
Knowledgeable – Helps you in ways that you didn’t even think would require help and knowledge
Listener – Listens closely to your wants and needs and works with you to make it happen
Logical – Is Constant and consistent with the right intention
Professional – Builds long lasting relationships
Respectful – Listens to you and anticipates your needs
Responsive – Does today what others won’t do
There – Your agent needs to be at your house whenever required to attend to client inspections and negotiate
Transparent – Walks your through the process of buying and selling and does not overpromise and underdeliver
Trustworthy – Is part of your profit and not your expenses
Being a great real estate agent is more than just dropping names and past successes. If you are a real estate seller, then a truly great real estate agent will properly qualify all buyer leads and determine who is ready and willing to buy and move the serious buyer from offer to exchange seamlessly and in a short span of time. Similarly, if you are a property buyer then a great real estate agent will show you precisely the properties that match your requirement and budget and will move you from inspections to closure within a short span of time.
Real Estate Agent Speak
When you begin to speak to a few real estate agents in the market you will soon begin to realise that how an agent speaks is an indication of how good they are. The examples in the below table will demonstrate what I mean:
|It’s a tough market
|The market is the market
|Buyers are really difficult right now
|Buyers are very price-sensitive right now
|Its hard to sell homes right now
|There are always people looking to buy and sell property in any market
|Your home is overpriced
|Buyers may not see value at this price point
|Lets hope things improve
|Lets make things happen
|We don’t have any buyers
|We need to market to more people
|Its an ok offer. You should take it.
|Lets get more offers so that this buyer will feel like they are missing out
What are you Looking for?
When you start hunting for a property or when you have decided to sell your property you need to make a list of the qualities that you are looking for in a real estate agent. Just as every home and every buyer and seller are different all agents are different and you need to decide what are the qualities that are most appealing to you. Once you know what you are looking for, then it will be easy to choose a real estate agent. Below are some general criteria that you must keep in mind:
Credentials and Qualifications:
Its not really hard to become a real estate agent. Not just in India but in any country. So choose an agent who has completed more than the basic requirements which in India would mean RERA certification. You should also look for an agent who is educated and qualified preferably with a minimum bachelor’s degree in any stream.
It pays to find a real estate agent who has sold many homes like yours before. You ideally do not want someone new to the industry learning the ropes on your house! And experienced real estate agent will know how to gauge your needs and create a sales strategy that is in sync with your situation. The real estate business is not a one-size-fits-all business. Which is why its important find the agent who is a fit for you.
Choose a real estate agent who you feel fits the image in your mind of what a professional should look, sound and feel like. Go with your gut instincts. If you feel the agent is making potentially false claims about himself or talking too much about themselves then chances are that you or the buyers may feel uncomfortable as well. Choose a real estate agent who builds rapport with you so that you like and trust them or else you are just inviting unpleasant experiences. The more professional and committed your agent is the smoother will the sale process be and the more it will have an impact on the final sale price of the property that you are planning to buy or sell.
Attention to Detail
There is no room for mistakes in real estate transactions. Hence a great agent must pay attention to detail as well as having checklists, processes and detailed forms that help them to stay on track. Ask questions now before you find out the hard way later.
Choose a real estate agent who will do the best possible job for you. They should be confident but not cocky. All professionals who are good at what they do carry an amount of ego but its how they carry this off that is important. The agent must be able to trust his / her commitment to deliver what they say they will. An agent who offers to buy or sell your home for the lowest commission is probably not the agent who will provide the best service or result to you. After all, if they do not believe in themselves how will they negotiate with sellers to get you the best price or negotiate with buyers to bring the property within your purchase budget.
A good real estate agent will be flexible and human and understand when things change during the marketing of a property and will be able to reschedule his / her time around you. A great agent understands that buying or selling a property is a people business and work accordingly. Real estate is not a 9 – 5 Monday to Friday job.
If your agent is late for an appointment do not waste any more time with that agent. Period.
Local Area Knowledge
A great agent will have excellent knowledge of the local area that they operate in. They will have a good understanding of local politics, public transport, schools, parks, nightlife and where to get the best coffee!
Buyers and sellers relate better with agents who love their job and love the homes they are selling. If the agent is not enthusiastic at the start they will never be.
A good place to start when choosing an agent to work with is a referral from a trusted source based on the outstanding work they have already done in the past. We all prefer to deal with professionals who are recommended by friends and family. But having said that you still need to trust your gut instinct. If you don’t trust the real estate agent referred to you then don’t hire that Agent. If they “feel” right then move forward with them. Buying a home or selling a home is journey that you will take along with your agent – so you need to be able to trust that the information being provided to you by your agent is in your best interests.
In today’s interconnected online world, the ultimate way to find the best real estate agent for you in the local market is to do a quick Google Search. The agent or agency whose website is ranked highly on Google is possibly the best real estate agent in the market you want to work with. In a city like Mumbai, you could type in Google: “real estate agents Mumbai” or “real estate brokers Mumbai”. The reason you want to trust an agency website that is ranked highly on Google is that it is indeed hard to climb the rankings of Google – it takes many years of concerted effort to keep a website’s content current and updated. And Google ranks only credible and trustworthy company websites on the top of their search results. An agency that has been in the market for years and has consistently cultivated their online presence speaks volumes about their staying power, their earning capabilities and their expertise. Ultimately do you want to trust an agent or a professional who does not have a professional website and web presence in today’s world?! Do you honestly think such people will possess all the desirable qualities listed above?
Please desist from contacting rabble rousing real estate agents who showcase properties on social media outlets such as Instagram and YouTube. These are basically one-man agencies who more often than not make a living from advertising and brand sponsorship revenues from their posts. These mostly young guys and girls started out as newbie real estate agents by posting some poorly shot and edited property videos on social media and thanks to some real and some purchased subscribers they have quickly dumped the business of real estate and have now hitched a short term and illusory ride on the social media bandwagon. One has to remember that showcasing real estate is not just a one man or two-person job. Apart from selling and negotiation skills, selling real estate also requires experience, tenacity, hard work, discipline and strategy – qualities that social media real estate agents do not possess or are unwilling to commit to. How do you expect someone to be a working real estate agent out on the field satisfying the requirements of property buyers and sellers when all he / she does everyday is lug around a camera and other heavy equipment from property to property shooting videos! Producing videos is a time-consuming activity and can be considered as a full-time job and as such one cannot expect the real-world work of professional property selling from these self-obsessed folks! Contact real estate agents on social media at your own peril!!
All the information detailed above in this exhaustive article should be able to give you an idea on which real estate agent you want to talk to, interview and select for the important task of buying or selling your property!
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