The Internet has empowered consumers to explore homes available in the marketplace without professional assistance. While buyer’s agents are no longer the gatekeepers that they once were for finding lists of homes, qualified agents are still essential for guiding consumers through the complex home buying process. Buyer’s agents can research properties that fit specific needs, negotiate for better prices, and advise buyers on how to repair their property after purchasing. Consumers searching for a competent real estate professional should look for the five character traits that are listed below.
1. Negotiation Skills
A good buyer’s agent should exhibit strong negotiation skills. Buyers should utilize initial meetings with an agent to judge the professional’s ability to negotiate. The best way to test negotiation skills is to request special treatment during the interview process. For example, the buyer might ask for a reduction in the agent’s commission or the waiver of certain fees. Agents who defend their rights thoughtfully are likely to be capable of negotiating better prices with sellers. Negotiating with agents before agreeing to a contract is critical to ensure that agents have adequate negotiation skills for the job.
2. Responsive Service
Buyers will need to work with their agents on a regular basis to address challenges that can arise throughout the buying process. Unfortunately, some agents begin to neglect their clients after signing a contract. An agent’s ability to provide responsive service can often be estimated during the agent selection process. Buyers should never work with an agent who shows up late for an appointment or fails to keep any promise. Reliable agents are essential to ensure that buyers can receive the help that they need when purchasing a new home. Make sure that a prospective agent is capable of providing responsive service before agreeing to a contract.
3. Commitment to Clients
Navigating through the home buying process requires that agents are committed to the success of their clients. Difficulties can sometimes arise and require an agent to invest significant time to ensure that their clients get what they need. Some agents even choose to abandon difficult clients to focus on more profitable accounts. Therefore, it is important for buyers to research the experiences of former clients to understand an agent’s commitment to client success. Online review websites and references can be invaluable tools to find out whether an agent is likely to brush off a client if needs become complex. Agents with bad reviews should be avoided.
4. Extensive Experience
Some agents in the real estate industry lack enough experience to add value to their clients. Buyers should always research the credentials of a prospective agent before agreeing to sign a contract. Credentials should also be verified by contacting past employers and asking for official documentation. Agents who are incapable of verifying their claims should be avoided. Buyers should look for an agent who has at least two years of experience in the real estate industry. It is also important to make sure that a prospective agent has experience working on behalf of buyers. A seasoned agent can help buyers identify better properties, reduce hassle during the buying process, and negotiate better prices.
5. Professional Connections
Agents who are connected to other real estate professionals in the local community have access to unique resources that are not available elsewhere. Well-connected agents are likely to have a working relationship with many local professionals to facilitate a smooth buying process. Connections can make it easier for clients to arrange appointments, negotiate prices, and get special treatment while shopping for a home. In contrast, agents who lack connections are unlikely to have the resources necessary to provide their clients with a negotiating advantage. Affiliation with local real estate groups, membership with major real estate agencies, and social media activity are all strong signs of a well-connected buyer’s agent.
Picking the Right Agent
Home buyers should work with a qualified real estate agent who demonstrates responsive service, commitment to clients, and industry experience. The assistance of a competent real estate professional can simplify the buying process and lead to better results. However, buyers who work with an unprofessional agent could experience unnecessary delays or pay higher prices. The careful selection of a competent buyer’s agent can ensure lasting satisfaction with a great home that can be cherished for a lifetime.