Spring is upon us and it is one of the busiest times of year in the real estate world, often referred to as the “Spring Selling Season.” Families look for their next home during spring in hopes of moving over summer break and settling in before the next school year. Even if school considerations aren’t a factor for you, if you’re thinking of selling your home, now could be a great time.
If you’re planning on buying or selling a home soon, having professional assistance from a real estate agent is certainly something to consider. Here are some of the top reasons to use a real estate agent and what to look for when you’re shopping around:
- Professional in your corner
For most people, a home is the single most expensive purchase they will make in their lifetime, and it’s important to have an experienced professional who is looking out for your best interest. In fact, agents are contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect their clients.
- Educated on evolving laws, regulations and best practices
According to Realtor.com, people move homes on average every 7-10 years, so it’s likely that the real estate landscape has changed slightly since the last time you went through the buying or selling process.
Licensed real estate agents are responsible for staying current on laws and regulations, in addition to being aware of current market trends and best practices that can impact your real estate transaction.
- Offline resource for finding the right home
Beginning your home search online is a great starting point and it can even be a great way to narrow down your options of the homes you’d like to visit in person.
Real estate professionals bring an added benefit to the home search by providing a wealth of information when it comes to important considerations such as school districts, traffic patterns or commute times, nearby amenities and even building materials and potential safety concerns.
- Pricing your home
Real estate professionals have access to the latest sales data and have a pulse on the current market conditions.
In many buyer’s cases, purchasing a new home is contingent upon them selling their current home, so working with a real estate who can price, list and market your home effectively is important.
- Negotiations and contracts
Negotiations involve far more than just price, so it’s important to have a professional in your corner who will help you wade through the details of real estate contracts and help negotiate on your behalf.
- How to find the best agent for you:
- Ask for recommendations from friends and family
- Look at their current listings and sales history – this will help determine if they have specific experience buying and selling homes in line with your price point, location and preferences.
- Research top-performing agents who have received peer and industry awards within your market, such as local the Business Journal and trade publications. A quick internet search should tell you if they’ve won any recent accolades.
- Keep an eye out for accreditations and understand what they mean. For example, ABR stands for “Accredited Buyer’s Representative,” which could be especially helpful for a first-time homebuyer.
- Be honest about your preferred method of communication (do you require email communication during working hours?) and will you only be available to look at homes on the weekends? If so, be sure to communicate those needs to potential agents.