In this article, we’ll review some tips on how to find and work with a realtor. It sounds easy, right? Just look online for a name, and you’ll magically find one that is compatible with you.
If only it were that easy!
There’s a lot more to working with a realtor than just finding someone online. You want a realtor that specializes in the area you are looking to purchase in. The realtor should also understand your budget too. Lastly, you need to trust this realtor a lot because they’ll be helping you make one of the biggest purchases of your life.
When you are buying a piece of real estate, the biggest tip I always recommend is this: You want your experience with a realtor to be so good, you’d refer their services to someone you know.
Tip #1: How To Find A Good Realtor
If you don’t have a realtor already, you can find a good one a number of ways:
1) Try asking friends on Social Media. Especially, Facebook and Twitter.
2) Try asking a business associate.
3) Get out and view some open houses in the neighborhood you are looking to purchase in. You can meet the realtor hosting it and casually talk with them. If they’re someone, you’d like to work with you can grab their business card.
4) Look online for a realtor only if it’s your last option and they have a very strong presence online. A credible realtor will have a blog, website, professional business name, and good reviews. Then follow-up with a phone call to start interviewing them for the job of helping you buy a new property.
The realtor is going to be both your research person and advisor.
Don’t Forget to ask them what kinds of properties they specialize in and what part of town or city they know the best.
If your plans to buy property is not right away or you’re looking for the perfect deal, explain that up front to them.
That way they’ll know what to expect when working with you.
Tip #2: Qualities Of A Good Real Estate Agent
A good realtor will never use a high-pressure sales technique to strong-arm you into buying a house or investment property.
But at the same time, it is a commission-only job so don’t waste a realtor’s time if you are not ready to buy.
Some examples of not being ready are:
1) Not being pre-approved by a mortgage lender and you’re not a cash buyer.
2) Not having the required liquid assets (cash) ready in your bank.
3) You have absolutely no idea what type of property you’re looking for. At least know if you want a rental property, condo, townhome, or single family home.
In sizzling real estate markets, you have to have all of your financial ducks in a row to move quickly on a purchase. So communicate upfront whether you’re genuinely ready to move quickly and buy.
Here’s a tip about how a realtor can really be a big help in a competitive market. If you have a property that you want to buy, and that property gets multiple offers, it might come down to not the highest offer, but the most credible one. I once got a property that had 12 other offers on it. Because my realtor knew the other realtor who was selling the house, in their eyes, I was the most credible.
So the whole “who you know” idea is true in the world of Real Estate. Make sure the realtor you’re working with has an excellent reputation in the network of other realtors. Otherwise, it may cost you.
Tip #3: Trust Your Realtor’s Knowledge
Another myth that people think of with Realtors is that you can’t trust them and they’re not going to show you deals or good fixer-upper properties.
This is actually not true in my experience.
Don’t ever buy into the idea that, well if this house is such a good deal, why aren’t they buying it? The answer is because flipping a house or owning real estate is a pain in the rear and not easy money like some people would have you believe.
It’s stressful and requires you to be a bit strategic and tactical to make money. Most realtors would rather sell and take commissions instead. Plus, most realtors won’t even sell a property they own themselves because it’s a huge conflict of interest.
What can you do if you don’t trust that your realtor is showing you all of the available homes for sale? The answer is simple. You can always search the online listings yourself on Zillow or Redfin. Then forward those listings to your real estate agent to make an inquiry with the listing agent.
Tip #4: Buying an FSBO (for sale by owner) Property With Your Realtor
Make sure your realtor shows you everything on the market, including FSBO’s if you can find them. An FSBO (for sale by owner) can get a bit tricky for a realtor because the owner may not want to pay the standard 3 or 6% sales commission. So don’t be surprised if they avoid showing you these types of listings.
Most of the time if you want to view an FSBO listing that you saw, you’ll need to bring up the idea of viewing it. Especially if you’re looking for homes on Craiglist.
It can work, but depending on the circumstances, their broker (whoever owns your realtor’s firm) may not even let them do the deal.
So it’s best to speak with them ahead of time about how they’d handle the possibility of helping you buy a property that is being sold by the owner.
Flat Fee Brokers
Help U Sell is a perfect example of a flat-fee broker that has the same attitude as an FSBO. The owner is more involved in hosting open houses along with other responsibilities. Help-U-Sell is not a full-service broker. Having an agent from one of these types of real estate firms might be the best option for helping you buy a property being listed as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO).
Finding a realtor is just half the battle. A good realtor will give you first class service all the way through the home buying process. If you feel like they’re not delivering, then you need to address the issues right away.
Realtors work on 100% commissions most of the time so if you end up firing them, do it at the beginning, not the end, so their time is not wasted, and you can move on to work with someone new.