Many people begin looking at “for sale” signs and calling the real estate agents listed on them, only to left waiting by the phone waiting for a return call that never comes. Not a good business practice, but a reality nonetheless.
Don’t let this stop you. Frustrating as it might be, you just need to find the right agent. For those of you in need of some guidance, here are some helpful tips for finding the right real estate agent:
Availability: Look for an agent who will be available when you are. For example, if you are looking for homes on weekends and evenings. Be clear about your availability and ask if your agent can accommodate you.
Information: Most consumers are very Internet savvy. However, what you see online is not always up to date. For example, buyers frequently call me about homes that are sold or have offers on them. Ask your agent to send you information about homes that meet your criteria and are practical to your home search. A great deal for your friend does not always mean a great deal for your family.
Personality: When you are buying/selling a home, you will be working with an agent for a period of three to six months or more. Therefore, the personality needs to be a good fit. Find someone who is personable, open to answering all kinds of questions and is willing to research additional information as needed.
Understanding your needs: Your agent needs to work for your entire family and help you see the potential a home and neighborhood have to offer. Your first home should fit into your budget, offer you comfort and require few repairs. It should be in an area that has a chance to appreciate in value so you can be in a position to sell your first home in five to seven years for some profit and move up to your second home.
With the right agent, your first home-buying experience truly can be a dream come true.
Annie Christian is a real estate broker and owner of The Annie Christian Real Estate Group. She helps with everything from buying and selling to foreclosure and short sale. To submit a question, call 351-5117. Her website is www.anniechristian.com.