Whether buying or selling a home, finding a real estate agent is the most critical step, enabling you to navigate the complexities of the real estate industry. The intent is often to get all the help you need in the home buying or selling process and manage large transactions more efficiently. However, hiring the right real estate agent can be challenging, especially for first-time home buyers and sellers.

Although hiring the first real estate agent you interact with may be tempting, it is essential to note that a real estate agent can make or break the entire home-buying or home-selling experience. This means working with a rookie can be costly, while a professional and qualified real estate agent gives you more benefits. So, how do you find a real estate agent for you? Read on to find out.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

In a nutshell, real estate agents are licensed professionals working under a real estate broker to facilitate property sales for homeowners and purchases for potential home buyers. They help guide homebuyers and sellers through the buying and selling process, from scouting to closing. Therefore, a real estate agent is a valuable asset when selling or buying a home since they make the process smooth and efficient from start to finish. That said, here is what a real estate agent does:

  • Offer expert knowledge of the area: Real estate agents are experts who understand property values, neighborhoods, and schools within the area more than anyone else. They also know different laws and policies governing real estate in the area. This allows you to get more insights into selling your home or finding the right property to invest in.
  • Represent home buyers and sellers fully: Most people lack time to set up showings or search homes and properties. Hiring a real estate agent lets you access countless potential buyers if you are selling or listing your home. This saves you time while letting you get better deals.
  • Assist with paperwork: Buying or selling a home involves piles of paperwork; some may be unfamiliar, mainly for first-time home buyers and sellers. Finding a real estate agent makes sure you complete all your paperwork on time, resulting in a less stressful experience.
  • Guide negotiations: Suppose you sell your home, but it requires some repairs and replacement; an agent can negotiate for a better deal. Real estate agents know how to negotiate with both property owners and potential buyers. More so, they are familiar with necessary permits and allocations for ongoing projects.

Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent vs. Real Estate Broker

In the real estate industry, not all real estate agents are realtors. Realtors are licensed real estate agents with National Association of Realtors membership. They pledge to observe the association's standards and code of ethics when carrying out their duties to home sellers and potential buyers.

On the other hand, real estate agents are licensed agents in the state where they operate and obey national and state laws governing real estate. A real estate agent only acquires a license after completing specified coursework or passing an exam to become a real estate agent.

Real estate brokers have completed additional training and licensing requirements to work in the industry, unlike realtors and real estate agents. Suppose you are a real estate agent; you can take additional training and complete state-required coursework and exams to become a broker. The best part is that a real estate broker can work independently and even start their brokerage and hire agents.

Tips to Find a Great Real Estate Agent

The most effective way to find a real estate agent is by asking friends and colleagues for referrals. This gives you insights into prospective agents with great success in selling, buying, or renting properties on behalf of their clients. That said, here are expert tips for finding the right real estate agent in Chatham and Wake Counties, North Carolina.

Use Trusted Resources to Find Real Estate Agents Near You

Talking to lenders, considering referrals, and online reviews are great resources to find a real estate agent to facilitate your home sale or purchase. Generally, the real estate industry comprises hundreds to thousands of agents; hence, it is crucial to check with the state's real estate regulator to confirm licensing. Choosing the right agent with your interests in mind begins with using trusted resources. This promotes transparency, especially when looking for valuable information regarding real estate agents near you.

Evaluate Their Real Estate Experience

Buying or selling a home is a complex process that requires a better understanding of negotiations, market fluctuations, and managing large transactions. Thus, you should find a real estate agent with a ton of experience when selling or buying property. For instance, hire an agent with at least two years of full-time experience when buying a home. If you are selling your property, an agent with four or more years in the real estate sector is ideal.

Make Sure They Know Your Local Real Estate Market

The right real estate agent should incorporate adequate experience in helping people buy or sell homes within your area. The intent is to find a real estate agent who understands the real estate market in Chatham County. This means the agent should have several closings within your local area, at least 30 homes annually. Finding a seasoned real estate agent who knows the local real estate market gives you an advantage since they have invested in the community.

Check the Real Estate Agent's Track Record

Pricing homes is a critical factor when buying or selling property in Chatham County. When looking for a real estate agent, hire a top performer to price the property correctly, resulting in a closing. Check on key metrics to determine their skill levels, focusing on pricing and the period to close a home. These aspects give you insights into how qualified a real estate agent is. Besides, it enables you to hire an agent with a higher success rate in helping you sell or buy a home.

Learn About Their Customer Services

Some real estate agents are often after commission and making money for themselves without considering the interests of their clients. The right real estate agent should communicate at every step of the process and provide alternatives when you are unsatisfied. This promotes customer experience, besides making a home seller or potential buyer feel more comfortable working with a professional real estate agent. Hence, find a transparent real estate agent who communicates promptly, listens to your concerns, and offers practical guidelines.

Interview At Least Three Real Estate Agents

After shortlisting about five potential real estate agents to hire, interview at least three in-person. Face-to-face meetings can reveal several traits, mainly when you ask the right questions. Here are some questions to ask a real estate agent and set your expectations in the home buying/selling process:

  • Do you work full-time or part-time?
  • Are there references I can contact?
  • How many homes do you help buyers and sellers close?
  • How long do you typically take with potential home buyers/sellers, from the first step to the closing?
  • Can I review your real estate license?
  • Do you help home sellers/buyers in the area?
  • Do you work individually or as a team?

Reach Out to Chatham Homes Realty for the Perfect Realtor

Finding the right real estate agent can be overwhelming, especially if you buy or sell a home for the first time, but it doesn't have to be. You can use the above tips to get started and find a realtor to help you get through the process seamlessly. At Chatham Homes Realty, we understand the value of working with a realtor to satisfy your home buying or selling process. For more information, contact Chatham Homes Realty to learn more today!

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