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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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