The concept of representation is very important to understand before you look for a realtor. If you want to sell your home, then you may be on the lookout for a specialized seller’s agent. On the other side, buyer’s agents represent those wanting to purchase a property. Either way, as soon as you sign your contract with a real estate agent, they have a legal obligation to represent you.
Ask about to see if you know someone that can recommend a realtor. However, don’t let your decision weigh solely on their opinion. Spend some time properly researching as well. Make sure you find a realtor that has a specialization in the properties you are interested in. If you have a $200,000 budget, for instance, then you shouldn’t work with a realtor that sells $2 million properties. Do make sure you actually speak to a realtor you are considering. Ask anything that is relevant, such as how they will represent you, what they can do for your, what experience they have, how much they cost and so on. You need to make sure your realtor understands your expectations. You have to make sure that your needs are clear. Finally, you need to actually like your realtor. You cannot trust someone you don’t like, after all. The last thing is that you need to find someone that is very experienced. There is something to be said for working with new people and giving them a chance, but buying or selling homes are incredibly important financial decisions and you need someone that actually knows what they are doing.
You must also avoid a few things. Firstly, don’t pick anyone who is your friend or a family member. This would represent a huge conflict of interest and it could also mean that you struggle to be honest with each other. Additionally, there is a chance you will endanger your relationship if you are not entirely happy with the end result. Also avoid dually responsible realtors, meaning they represent both the buyer and the seller. Also, if things don’t go the way you want them to, then don’t be afraid to go elsewhere. If you find you do want to leave your current realtor, do so respectfully. Do not tell any realtor that they will represent you if you are only asking for information. Simply be honest with your realtor and tell them what stage of the process you are at yourself. If you expect your realtor to be honest with you, you need to be truthful to them as well.
In most cases, if you want to sell your property, your agent will require you to sign an exclusivity agreement. It is a very normal thing to do but you still have most of the same rights. If, for example, you feel you are being poorly represented, you are allowed to terminate the contract. The contract stops you from enlisting the services of a different agent at the same time, but is otherwise non-restrictive. As a buyer, you do not have to sing such an agreement. However, some realtors are starting to insist on it. Last but not least, you need to understand the way realtors earn their living. Not all realtors are created equally. In most cases, realtors will work by charging a commission on the final sale or purchase price of a property, but there are also those who charge a flat fee. Before you agree to work with a realtor, therefore, you must understand which one of the two constructions they work with.