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Checklist For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Spring is upon us and the Flagstaff real estate market is blooming and buzzing with activity. As you begin planning for your warm, summer months ahead, maybe a new home, investment property or sale of your current residence is on the horizon. If so, please discuss your ideas with a real estate professional. This is an important decision representing a significant investment. As such, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an expert in the field; someone who deals daily in the intricacies of the Flagstaff real estate market.

But how do you know which real estate professional to select when there are so many from which to choose? Here are six attributes designed to help you make the “right” decision when picking your real estate representative:

  1. Full-Time Job. It may shock you, but not all agents are full-time Realtors. It takes a lot of time, commitment, study, and focus to stay up-to-date and in touch with the local market. Full-time Realtors are better equipped to know in what direction the market is moving. For example, Flagstaff is currently a “Seller’s Market.” When a property goes for sale, it can have multiple offers in a small timeframe, sometimes within a few short hours. An agent occupied in another profession (or retirement) could wind up costing you thousands of dollars… or maybe even the entire deal. You need an agent who will update you immediately when new listings hit the market.
  2. Experience. There are many novice agents in the real estate industry. Only a truly experienced Realtor will yield consistently solid performance. With experience comes the ability to quickly churn raw data into useful information to assist such an important decision. Test your private investigation skills and visit Zillow, Trulia orRealtor.com, to name a few, and review the personal testimonies other clients have shared about your Realtor of choice. Additionally, you can uncover your Realtor’s past production and sales history. You will quickly discover past sales in terms of vacant land, residential properties, high-end residential homes and commercial real estate.
  3. Knowledge. To assess your Realtor’s overall knowledge and skill set, you might want to know if your agent has a university degree and how real estate became their profession of choice (i.e., what other careers have they held). The answers to such questions may help you understand their background and how it can benefit you as their client. For example, certain previous professions might have honed their skills in negotiating, or in marketing your home, or in understanding the vagaries of the marketplace. A skilled Realtor should be able to provide accurate up-to-date information on current listings, recent home sales, average pricing for select neighborhoods, economic indicators, and Flagstaff construction trends. Moreover, the Arizona Residential Purchase Contract, and other specific forms were recently updated in February 2017.These updates produced some significant changes – is your agent up to date on THESE changes?
  4. NAR. Is your Realtor a member of NAR? The term REALTOR is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. What is important here is “strict Code of Ethics.” It is comforting to know your real estate professional is abiding by these rigorous ethical standards and industry practices.
  5. Brokerage. There are many real estate offices and brokerages in Flagstaff. Before selecting a Realtor, and thereby his or her brokerage office, perform some research.Carefully consider the brokerage’s market share, presence in the community, contribution to the community and “Sold” volume.These components are worthy to consider when choosing a brokerage to represent you in a real estate transaction.
  6. Who’s Got Your Back? Here is a fun game; try to call an agent and see if he or she answers the telephone…YES? …NO? That unanswered call speaks volumes with regard to the agent’s availability and dedication.You want someone who is going to answer the phone at all hours, whenever humanly possible. Someone who cares to be there and answers the phone is someone who sincerely wants clients to be successful!

 

When choosing a Realtor, remember to Check Your Six. A few minutes of attention to these factors on the front-end may save you hours of heartache on the back-end. The Realtor who checks out against these six… will surely have your back! FBN

 

By Blake Cain

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6 Responses to Checklist For Choosing a Real Estate Agent

  1. Morris Hagerman April 11, 2017 at 4:26 PM #

    I tend to agree with all of the check list except one, the call anytime and see if he or she answers. It should be if they call back in a reasonable time if they don’t answer. Should they push aside a client they are currently working with to answer the phone? I turn my phone off when I am with a client. I want to focus on them and expect them to focus on me. How about at 9 pm at night? Do Real estate agents not have a time to themselves and families? I have kids, they need my attention after a certain hour of the evening. Think about this, nothing can be handled at 9 at night that can’t wait til morning. (send an email or text). Good agents are also good fathers (mothers), partners, good to the clients sitting in front of them and people who need to recharge.

  2. Dave Anderson May 3, 2017 at 8:07 AM #

    My brother is moving and he is looking for a house relatively close to mine. I think that the best way to find a house would be through a real estate agent, so I am going to look for one for my brother. I appreciate the information on the fact that it should be a full-time real estate agent dedicated to knowing the market. That way he or she would be able to help me find a house for my brother as fast as possible.

  3. Callum Palmer March 13, 2018 at 4:59 PM #

    Experience is an absolute must when you’re hiring a real estate agent to help you out. After all, if you’re hiring someone to help you buy a new house or sell your old one then you’ll want a lot of support. In order to ensure this you have to make sure that the real estate agent you choose is properly trained and experienced.

  4. Duncan Lance June 12, 2018 at 2:16 PM #

    Experience should always be one of the number one things you look for when choosing a real estate agent and it is great that the article agrees. After all, ideally you would want to make sure that the agent has sold several homes similar to yours before. That way you can feel more comfortable with having them help sell your own home.

  5. Duncan Lance June 18, 2018 at 2:18 PM #

    I really like that your article emphasizes just how important experience is when you’re choosing a real estate agent. When it comes to buying a home for yourself it can be a very long and complicated process. Since this is usually the case, it definitely helps to have an experienced real estate agent that can help you throughout the whole purchase or sale.

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