Choosing a real estate agent

Hiring the wrong relator can be a waste.
Buying or selling a new home is exciting, but it also can be a bit overwhelming. Enlisting the help of a qualified real estate professional can alleviate some of the stresses associated with such an important financial transaction.

Here are some pointers that can help you choose a realtor who understands your wants and needs and can help guide you through the buying or selling process.
  • Verify a real estate agent's license

  • Real estate agents are licensed by the state once they've completed state-approved education classes. If you feel the need, go ahead and ask to see certification.

  • Chemistry with your realtor is key

  • Good chemistry between a real estate agent and a buyer or seller is paramount. If your agent has a clear understanding of exactly what you're looking for — and, just as important, what you're not looking for — chances are you'll waste less time finding a home.

  • Selling a home

  • When you're selling a home, your real estate agent will advise you on a number of matters, including what the asking price of your property should be. It will be calculated, in part, based upon recent sales of comparable properties in your area.

    Your agent also will be in charge of marketing your property to prospective buyers, often by hosting open houses for several potential buyers. Once a serious buyer is ready to make an offer, your real estate agent mediates the price negotiation.

    Once both parties are satisfied, your agent accepts the offer on your behalf. From there, your agent will complete all the necessary contracts and paperwork in preparation for your closing.

    Real estate agents work on commission, and you should expect to pay a commission of about 5 percent to 7 percent of the sale price of your home, after the paperwork is completed and the sale is final.

  • Buying a home

  • If you are buying a new home, the agent acts as your researcher, doing the legwork and sifting through the range of properties that might be right for you. It's important that you find someone familiar with the area where you want to live.

    Because finding the right home can take time, you should look for an agent who has a willingness to work hard until your needs have been fulfilled. As a buyer, you're not responsible for paying the agent's commission.

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