Be Right at Home

Seven Tips to Find the Realtor That's Right For You

Posted: January 24, 2019 by Mikayla Zimmerman

When it comes to making one of the biggest financial transactions of a lifetime, you want to know someone has your back. And not just anyone: you want a knowledgeable professional you can fully trust. That’s why it makes sense to do a little homework when choosing a Realtor. 
If you don’t have someone you’ve hired before and already trust, these tips can help you find the Realtor that’s right for you.
#1 Confirm licensing. Licensing is required for agents in Wisconsin. You’ll be wise to make sure any Realtors you are considering really are licensed. While you’re at it, you may also want to note if the agent has received any complaints or is facing any disciplinary actions. The information is available through the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
#2 Check credentials. A lot of agents have a string of letters following their names. Those designations indicate someone who has received more advanced training in a particular area. If you’re looking for land to build on, for example, you may want an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC). If you’re a buyer, you may want someone with an ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative). The designations can shed light on whether a Realtor is a good fit for you.  
#3 Assess experience. Time in the industry can make a difference sometimes. While you’re checking years of experience, you may also want to see whether the agent works part-time or full-time in the real estate industry. That often is an indication of how much time the agent will be able to devote to you.
#4 Investigate listings. It makes sense for you to hire a Realtor who works in and knows your market and works with buyers and sellers in a similar price range. 
#5 Look online. Buyers today typically begin their home searches online. You’ll want to be sure your agent is there as well. You’ll need someone who uses the most current technological tools available to market and find homes.
#6 Consider affiliation. While certainly exceptions exist, agents who work for well established real estate companies bring advantages. Larger operations tend to have a stronger infrastructure with more marketing tools and options available along with more ongoing education for agent. They also house more Realtors who can help your agent move or find property faster.
#7 Interview them. Once you’ve narrowed your search to two or three agents, interview them to get a sense for whether there’s rapport between you. During the interview, ask them:
  • What they see happening currently in your market.
  • For a list of properties listed and sold in the past year, along with asking price versus sale price and contact information to check references.
  • Whether they will be your main contact and how best to reach them on short notice.
  • How often and through what means they will communicate with you.
  • How they plan to market your home or help you find what you’re looking for.
Throughout the interview, look for questions from the Realtor indicating that they are working to understand your expectations and needs and watch for cues they’re really listening. 
In the end, the best agent for you is the one who will work most effectively to market your property, negotiate the most favorable terms and keep your wants and needs in mind throughout the process.

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