In 2022, with a sweltering housing market, having the correct real estate agent that understands the market you’re examining is a must. Thankfully, by following a few basic procedures, you can easily locate the proper agent: ask for referrals (the right way), look for a few more alternatives online, and “interview” your candidates. You’ll be able to see which option is the greatest.

You know that you’ll need more than just a real estate agent to help you to succeed as you intellectually, emotionally, and financially prepare to enter the boiling cauldron of the 2022 housing market.

You’re going to need a really good xpu ha.

The problem is that, like guitar players, real estate agents are omnipresent, and their quality ranges from part-time hobbyists to John Petrucci.

So, how do you locate a true real estate “virtuoso” that can assist you in finding a beautiful home at an equally fantastic price? How do you ask for referrals in a professional manner? What questions should you ask to vet their skills once you’ve compiled a list of candidates?

A good real estate agent will assist you in finding and purchasing a home. A good one, on the other hand, will guide you through the A-Z process:

  • Making a financial plan.
  • Locating a financial institution.
  • Choosing search criteria
  • Finding “hidden jewels” and residences.
  • Organizing and attending tours as a group.
  • Developing a competitive proposition in light of market conditions.
  • Arranging for a home evaluation and inspection.
  • Assisting you with the mounds of paperwork you need to close.
  • (For more on selling, see the final section below.)

What’s the difference between a realtor, a real estate agent, and a real estate broker?

These three terms are frequently interchanged, but you must understand the distinctions:

  • Real estate agents who have passed their state’s real estate license exam are required to complete continuing education in order to maintain their license.
  • Real estate brokers are licensed real estate agents who also hold a broker’s license, allowing them to work on their own.
  • Real estate agents and other professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are known as realtors (NAR). Realtors must have a flawless track record and adhere to the NAR’s rigorous Code of Ethics at all times. Realtors account for about half of all real estate agents, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Does this imply that you’ll require the services of a real estate agent?

Certainly not. NAR membership is voluntary, and many experienced real estate brokers are not realtors.

How are real estate agents compensated?

Don’t be concerned about setting aside money to “employ” a real estate agent; they’re completely free.

You are, after all, free.

Real estate brokers are paid on commission, which is normally 3% of the home’s sale price and is paid by the seller, not you.

Even though a listing agent will charge you 3%, it’s still worth it to deal with one and sell to a buyer’s agent if you’re the seller. Because, in the end, having professionals guide you through the arduous home-selling process will provide you with more value than the 6% commission you would forfeit from the sale.

Is it possible to purchase a home without utilizing a real estate agent?

Would saving money by buying a house without hiring a real estate agent make you more appealing to sellers?

No, in the great majority of instances.

Because you’re (probably) a first-time homebuyer, a seller will be relieved to learn that you’re working with a real estate agent. A first-timer attempting to negotiate this maze on their own would be seen as foolish at best, and a huge liability at worst.

Similar regulations apply to selling. FSBO (for sale by owner) signage are a significant red signal for many purchasers and buyer’s agents since it suggests they’ll be dealing with amateurs who may lack experience or realistic expectations.

Having a pro on your side is worth the 3% commission in both directions.

Are you ready for a brainteaser?

In almost every case, two real estate agents are involved in the sale of a home:

The seller is represented by the listing agent, who assists them in preparing and listing their home for sale. They organize and facilitate open houses, assist the seller with negotiations, and so on.

The buyer is represented by the selling agent. The selling agent is the person who assists a buyer in purchasing a home.

In 2022, here’s why hiring the right real estate agent is critical.

Having the appropriate real estate agent on your side has always been beneficial when selling a home, and much more so when buying one.

But, given how hot, furious, and competitive the market has become, it’s practically required.

We barely escaped a multiple offer situation for our new home because our real estate agent knew how to:

  • Effectively communicate with our lender.
  • Obtain crucial information from the listing agent.
  • Make an enticing offer.
  • Please submit all of our documents as soon as possible.
  • Negotiate with the listing agent and family on our behalf.

I wouldn’t be sitting at my new home office composing this if he had failed in any way. The sellers would have chosen a buyer/agent team that had all of their ducks in a row.

Here’s how to pick a good real estate agent to represent you.

Referrals from previous clients are the No. 1 source of business for realtors, according to real estate company Compass.

Requesting a referral from friends and family for a qualified agent is a good place to start. A three-way call with your cousin is the only way to get in the door of some of the most qualified real estate brokers, especially because some of them are referral-only.

Keep in mind, however, that not every real estate agent, regardless of talent or experience level, is right for every buyer. Someone with 20 years of experience assisting affluent clients in purchasing $2,000,000 McMansions in the city’s northwest sector might not be the best choice for someone trying to purchase a starter house on the other side of town. They may know the ins and outs of the profession, but if they’re unfamiliar with the location, they’ll be learning alongside you, and their utility may be restricted.

As a result, just like a job referral, telling your friends and family what you’re looking for is beneficial.

If you solely share it on Instagram and LinkedIn, you’ll get the following results:

  • “We’re on the lookout for a reputable real estate agent!”

You’ll almost certainly receive dozens of real estate agent email addresses, with no way of knowing which ones are authorized to assist you.

If you post this, however:

  • “Can anyone recommend an excellent real estate agent who can assist first-time homebuyers in Mabelton, Smyrna, or Kennesaw in purchasing a townhome?”

You’ll receive fewer referrals, but those you do receive will be far more competent to assist you.

Is it a good idea to use your parents’ real estate agent?

Because hiring a real estate agent can be difficult, many people fall back on their “family” real estate agent.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this.

The advantage is that they’ll most likely go out of their way to stay in your family’s good graces.

The disadvantage is that just because they assisted a member of your family in purchasing a property doesn’t indicate they’re equipped to search within your budget or in your desired places.

Nonetheless, I believe it is worthwhile to contact your family’s real estate agent. Ask if they or anyone in their group or brokerage could be equipped to help, and be specific about your budget and the zip codes you’re looking in.

It doesn’t harm to browse online after you’ve compiled a decent list of one to three alternatives from referrals.

Gen Z and Millennials, unsurprisingly, are increasingly using the Internet to find a decent real estate agent.

This is a viable choice, and your timing is ideal because a few new websites have lately emerged to assist you in finding a good real estate agent.

HomeLight was started by a Millennial who, like us, found the process of finding a great real estate agent to be cumbersome, complex, and outdated.

As a result, he designed a free service that asks you a few simple questions (how much money do you have? (What exactly are you looking for?) It connects you with local real estate agents who are skilled and reliable.

We like how the design is clean and simple, and how it delivers on its promise. Visit HomeLight to construct your list of possible agents, or read our full review where we gave HomeLight a 9 out of 10 rating.

You’ll eventually establish a strong list of three to five possible applicants by asking references and tinkering with HomeLight.

So, what’s next? Who “wins the rose,” as it were?

Spending at least 10 minutes on the phone with each possible applicant, evaluating them with simple questions, pays off. Don’t worry; these questions will make you appear well-informed and prepared without making you appear arrogant or dismissive. They’ll be grateful that you asked.

Based on their responses to these questions, your decision will most likely be obvious.

Do you work part-time or full-time as an agent?

There was a time when the market was so tranquil, inventory was so ample, and buyers were so scarce that you could buy a house while dealing with an agent who clocked out at lunch and didn’t work Wednesdays.

Those were the days.

Because winning contracts necessitates working 50 to 80-hour weeks, today’s buyer’s agents frequently work 50 to 80-hour weeks. You’d best hope you’re working with someone full-time if you see a house you adore on Friday morning, it has an open house Sunday night, and you’ll make an offer by Tuesday.

How many buyers/sellers are you currently working with?

Having a small number of clients (one to five) can indicate that they aren’t seasoned or talented enough for your company.

Having too many (more than 20) at once may indicate they won’t have time for you when it matters most.

As a result, having between 10 and 20 clients is a good sign that they’re experienced but still have time and capacity to work with you.

What is your background in assisting first-time buyers and sellers?

This isn’t a deal-breaker, but it does serve as a reminder that, despite your clever queries, you’re still a novice when it comes to the procedure — and that they shouldn’t skim over the specifics.

Someone who has worked with beginners before — or prefers to do so — will be a more thorough and patient guide throughout the process.

What has been your experience buying and selling in the areas where we are searching, and what patterns have you noticed?

As a result, if a real estate agent hasn’t bought or sold in that neighborhood before, they’ll get a zero out of three for the required criteria.

An realtor who knows the neighborhood, on the other hand, will know whether prices are under or overpriced, what appreciation will look like, what the schools are like, and more.

Are you able to suggest a lender?

An excellent relationship to a lender is a significant indicator of a real estate agent’s skill and experience. It’s not simply a litmus test, either, because having that lender/agent relationship in place can make the process go much more smoothly in the next stages.

Thankfully, my agent and lender got along, but my agent stated he preferred working with his lender because “I can go shake him out of bed if he doesn’t respond my calls.”

In such a competitive environment, how do you assist in contracting?

Finally, toss this wacky at them and watch what they come up with. If you’re selling, inquire about how they negotiate the greatest price.

This question will disclose more of their entire “feel” in addition to offering you a glimpse into their confidence, skills, and experience navigating this chaotic market.

Are they aloof and unflappable? Green and naive? Are you a cheery and fun-loving person? Calculating? Emotional?

Because this isn’t only a business connection, it’s fine to examine and judge an agent based on their vibe. It can get quite personal.

Still undecided? Trust your instincts.

If you’re still having trouble deciding amongst your final selection of agents, ask yourself one last question:

To whom would you like to collaborate?

Our ultimate choice was between two agents with similar backgrounds, outstanding skills, and distinct personalities.

Juliet was gentle, soft-spoken, and sensitive to the emotional aspect of the situation. (“Remember to keep in mind what you’re looking for: a place to call home…”)
Joseph was forthright and honest, and he didn’t let his emotions get in the way of our purchase. (“Let’s get out of here; this house is a turd wagon.”)
Joseph was the obvious choice for me. I needed someone who wouldn’t mince words and would get us through the process as swiftly and effectively as possible, regardless of emotions.

But, if you had to choose, who would you pick?

Remember that you’ll be spending a lot of time with this person, so choose someone who is not only competent but also agreeable. Adaptable to your particular style. Not only a professional, but a partner.

A skilled seller’s agent will assist you in staging and pricing your house, as well as hiring a professional photographer to make it appear twice as large and marketing it to potential buyers. They’ll also assist you with all of the essential paperwork at the end of the journey, much like a buyer’s agent.

If you’re looking for a top-notch seller’s agent, most of the same ideas apply. You’ll still need someone who works full-time and has expertise selling properties in your price range and in your neighborhood.

Some of the significant changes will be immediately apparent. When asking for recommendations on social media, for example, it’s a good idea to remind your network that you’re seeking to sell, not purchase, because most people believe that someone our age is looking to buy.

With that in mind, here’s a minor addendum to the preceding marketing advice:

Your neighbors can also be a good source of referrals.

Who better to sell your home than the agent who just sold your next-door neighbor’s home?

Using your neighbor’s listing agent has numerous advantages. They’re familiar with the area and how to market it, and they’re likely to have a list of purchasers looking in your area.

Maybe the second-place bidder from your neighbors will pay top bucks for your home!

By looking on Zillow/Realtor.com, interacting with your homeowners’ association/community manager, or simply asking your neighbors, you can typically locate agents with expertise selling in your neighborhood. The listing agent’s contact information should still be available to either the family who just moved out or the family who just moved in.

Finding a great real estate agent can take a week or two, but the time and effort are well worth it. Because the appropriate real estate agent can help you speed up the process of becoming a homeowner, smooth out any bumps along the way, and save you a lot of time and stress.

And you’ve come to the perfect place if you need help putting your finances in order before approaching an agent. Look into it. Are you looking to purchase your first home? With these procedures, you may ensure that you are financially prepared.

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