By Dianna Hosta-Stickney
Now that you’ve made the decision to move, the next big decision is finding a Realtor. After all, most of us don’t have the time or the expertise to market our home or to navigate the complicated maze of buying another one. It’s likely your largest investment, not a time to make mistakes.
Finding a good Realtor, one who suits your personality and understands your needs, can be tricky. If selling or buying a house is on your to-do list this year, here are a few tips and factors to make a good Realtor match:
- Who sold you the home you’re in now? Did they keep in touch over the years? Was the experience positive? That real estate consultant may be a good choice if you’re staying in the area.
- Check out real estate websites to see reviews and ratings.
- Consider a consultant who is active in the local chamber of commerce, Rotary or other civic organizations. Those connections can be vital for marketing your property.
- Does the Realtor have certifications such as SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) or other designations? This indicates a level of expertise.
- Ask friends for suggestions. If they had a good experience, you probably will, too.
- Interview Realtors. A good relationship usually depends on the intangibles. Do you like the person? Are they easy to talk to? Do they seem trustworthy?
- When interviewing a consultant, details matter. How will they market your home? What tools do they use? If you’re buying, how available are they to show you houses? Get a fee list.
- Experience counts. How long have they been in real estate in your targeted area? How many properties have they sold?
- If you’re selling a home, ask about the list price versus sale price for similar properties they’ve handled. How often do their listings sell close to asking price?
- Ask about office support and with whom exactly you’ll be dealing. Some Realtors work on teams, others independently.
Finding a real estate professional who understands your needs and fits your personality can mean the difference between an uncomplicated sale and a drawn-out, unpleasant experience. Do your homework to ensure your next sale or purchase doesn’t become a lot of homework.
Dianna Hosta-Stickney is a real estate consultant with Cutler Real Estate in Middleburg Heights and Strongsville. Call 440-785-6800 or visit DiannaSellsHomes.com.