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Learn Seven Things You Must Know Before Choosing the Right Waterfront Real Estate Agent

Aug 6, 2008
You've made the decision to buy a waterfront home. Now, it's time to choose a real estate agent to help you find your perfect home. Many buyers looking for waterfront property rely on the agent to find qualified properties that fit their criteria since these buyers usually live in other states. Here are seven things you should know before choosing your agent.

1. Be Sure You Hire a Professional Agent:

Many agents work part-time and hold other jobs. Now there is nothing wrong with that and many of these agents are professional. The problem is these agents are generally new and lack the experience that seasoned full-time agents have. According to national averages, most agents are out of business in 3 years or less. Many agents get in when the market is high and leave when the market is low. A seasoned full-time career agent has weathered the storms and will possess the tools and contacts to help you find a home that is right for you. Some questions you should ask your agent are:

- Ask the agents you are considering hiring how many sales they close a year?

- How many hours of continuing education they pursue each year?

- How many years they have been in business full-time?

2. Education & Training:

Being a part-time agent is very different from being a full-time agent. Full-time agents do more than just show houses and sit at open houses. They are knowledgeable in areas like construction, mortgages, home inspections, and appraisals and know how to deal with these individuals. They actively seek education in these areas to be able to effectively communicate with these individuals.

3. Certifications:

While certifications are certainly important, it's the combination of Experience, Education and Training that make the difference in the competency of your waterfront real agent. Nothing can replace these items and choosing an agent that is knowledgeable about the local community and all its in's and out's can make all the difference.

4. The Home Inspection:

Most professional agents understand the value of the home inspection process. You should always choose your own home inspector if at all possible. The home inspector will be your eye's and ear's in determining if the waterfront home you are looking to buy is in good condition. The home inspector should produce a computer generated report with digital photos. The report should provide "Summary Pages" with specific categories like Major Concerns, Safety Issues and Deferred Cost Items, etc.

Professional agents understand that satisfied clients equate into strong referrals. This fact rings true long after the sale is closed. The last thing they want is a buyer who get's into a home and discovers many problems that a home inspection would have uncovered.

5. How Long Has The Agency Been In Business:

We touched on this earlier regarding the agent. Now let's look at the agency. Is the agency locally owned and operated or are they some far away "faceless corporation" where no one is monitoring and evaluating the quality of their work? If it is a franchise, is the franchise locally owned and operated. Make sure the agency will be there to stand by you long term.

6. Ask To See What Other Home Buyers Have Said About The Agent:

A professional agent will ask their client's to for feedback and testimonials about their work. A professional agent wants to know what they are doing right, as well as what might need improvement. If the agent can't or won't provide client referrals, it may be a sign that you should keep looking!

7. Ask Your Lender For A Referral To A Professional Agent:

The lenders sole interest in the transaction is seeing that You get a quality home that's right for you and your family!
About the Author
Hubert Miles is the owner of Waterfront Houses USA, a network of websites dedicated to bringing buyers and sellers of waterfront homes together. Featuring waterfront homes for sale in the US and Canada.
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