The real estate industry is a business of its own — navigating through it is no easy feat, unless you’re a seasoned expert. For successful, stress-free transactions, you need to know the right professionals who will always strive to keep your best interests in mind. If you are interested in diving into the world of real estate, you need a certified expert on your side. However, not just any expert will do. You need an experienced, knowledgeable realtor with the resources and tools to guarantee success.
If you are looking into Austin real estate and hoping to learn more about how to find a real estate agent, read on for a guide to everything you need to know about the different kinds of agents, how to look for one, and specific qualities that distinguish the best agents from the average ones.
As you begin your search for a real estate agent, you need to know the difference between the various types of professionals available for hire. This includes real estate agents, brokers, realtors, buyer’s agents, and seller’s agents. While most of these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually have specific definitions that distinguish them from one another.
Real estate agent
A real estate agent is licensed to buy and sell real estate property. The commission they earn is based on a percentage of the purchase amount. In most cases, the home seller pays the commission for both agents involved, but real estate agents themselves may represent both sellers and buyers.
A real estate broker operates similarly to an agent, but they may work independently and have other real estate agents in their employ. They are also paid a commission, but they also receive a percentage of the commissions earned by the agents on their team.
A realtor is a real estate agent, broker, or other licensed professional who is an official member of the NAR, the National Association of Realtors. Official NAR members have access to exclusive resources and tools, such as data reports and seminars, but they must comply with the association's Code of Ethics.
A buyer’s agent works with home buyers to search for and buy real estate. Their commission is paid by the seller upon the end of a successful transaction.
A seller’s agent, on the other hand, works with home sellers to prepare and market their homes for sale. The seller also pays their commission when the house has been sold.
How to find a real estate agent
To find a highly skilled, reliable real estate agent, you need to assess every candidate based on the following categories.
When you assess a real estate agent’s experience, there are two components to keep in mind: the number of years they’ve worked in the industry and the number of properties they’ve sold. Contrary to popular belief, the number of years a realtor has worked isn’t necessarily equivalent to the quality of their service. You need to see how many properties they’ve sold — and for how much.
A majority of, if not all, agents and realty groups have personal websites with published portfolios. Take a look at their sites and their recently sold listings. Luxury real estate agents will also have a page dedicated to notable transactions, which include multi-million mansions and luxury properties.
Effective, timely communication is essential for success. Does the candidate have any assistants on their team, or do they work alone? If they work alone, do they take one or multiple clients at a time? An agent who works alone but takes on various clients may take longer to respond to you, whereas an agent with assistants should always have someone on standby to assist you whenever any questions or concerns arise.
When you first connect with an agent, they will offer you a quote. Agents don’t typically list their commission rates on their websites. Be sure to specify that you’re interested in working with them when you first get in touch!
Reputation and reviews
Take a look at the agent’s reviews. Most agents post reviews and testimonials to their personal websites, but you should look at other official pages as well. Firsthand accounts from other clients will help you understand what kind of professional the agent is.
Things to look for in a buyer’s agent
If you’re a home buyer, here’s what to look for in a buyer’s agent.
They’ll look for homes within your price range
Before you begin the home search, you need to calculate your budget. Be sure to let your agent know about your price range so they can search for appropriately priced homes. You want someone who is highly in tune with the local market and can connect you with properties that fit your criteria.
They’ll negotiate on your behalf to land a better deal
A buyer’s agent will always lobby in your favor to score a better deal, whether by negotiating a lower price or compromising with the seller to cover some costs. For example, if a home inspection report reveals outstanding repairs, your agent may be able to convince the seller to pay for those repairs.
They’ll set realistic expectations for you and your goals
Schedule a buyer’s consultation with your agent. The consultation will allow both parties to set expectations, understand each other’s goals, and ensure you start on the same page. It’s a great way to foster a healthy, professional relationship.
Things to look for in a seller’s agent
If you’re hoping to list your Austin home for sale, your seller’s agent should have the following qualities.
They’ll stage and market your home effectively
You want to showcase all of your home’s best features in your listing. A seller’s agent will provide helpful advice and resources to stage your home and market it to a broad audience. Your agent will be up-to-date on innovative marketing tactics that improve the appeal of your home and reach the widest audience, getting your home seen and sold more quickly and for higher offers.
They’ll recommend home improvements with high ROI
Buyers enter the market with a specific set of standards — standards that agents always keep themselves apprised of. Your agent will suggest home improvements and additions that provide a high return on interest (ROI), thereby increasing the value of your home and the likelihood of it selling faster.
They’ll calculate a reasonable list price for your home
Knowing how much your home is worth in the current market can be tricky, but your agent knows what to look for. They’ll be able to calculate an accurate, competitive list price by assessing your home’s current fair market value, its age, its number of impressive features, and other important factors. They are knowledgeable about what local buyers want to see.
Ready to get started?
All in all, hiring a real estate agent to assist you with buying, selling, or investing in an Austin luxury home
is a sure way to facilitate a streamlined, stress-free experience. If you have additional questions on how to find a real estate agent or would like to get started on your real estate venture today, reach out to the experts at Local Life Realty
for more information. This top-tier team is ready to get you where you need to go.