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Realtors - How to Find the Right One for You!

Aug 17, 2007
Why is it important to find the right Realtor? Because this person is going to be representing you in one of the most important transactions in your lifetime. Unless you have a huge portfolio, a home purchase will involve more money than you normally deal with. Treat this transaction with the consideration it deserves and don't leave anything to chance!

It's critical that you take the time to interview several different agents before making a choice. The worst thing you can possibly do is to find a home that you like...and then call the Realtor who has their name and number on the yard sign! In the first place, this Realtor is representing the seller of that property...and you should have your own representation. Secondly, you don't know this agent's personality or work ethic. You don't know the scope of services they offer...or their background.

Before you start looking for a home, it's vital that you talk to different agents until you find one that is a good match for your personality. Find answers to these questions:

* What services do they offer to homebuyers? Do they offer total representation, or has their broker "designated" them to work with you? Will they be available to "preview" homes for you in case you can't be there?

* What is their experience level? The search for your new home is a journey, sometimes encountering problems that you don't anticipate. An experienced agent has likely run across more issues than an inexperienced agent...and can head-off many problems before they take root and grow.

* Does this person smoke (or have a problem with people who do)? This can quickly become a problem because you're likely to be spending a lot of time with them. And even if they don't smoke in the car, the smell might bother you. Or vice versa. If you smoke, it might be a bother to them. And don't forget a problem just as bad...perfume! Many people are allergic to perfume...and can't stand the odor. These are odd questions, but I see them come up more often than you would think!

* Do you get the feeling that this person is "pushy"? Or just trying to make a sale? If the Realtor seems pushy to you, you might wonder if they are pushy to others. Will they possibly antagonize the sellers or their agents in an attempt to negotiate for you? You will surely want a strong negotiator, but there is a fine line between effective negotiation and causing negative feelings with people involved in the other side of the transaction. When sellers fell pushed or insulted, most negotiation stops right then and there!

* Does this agent have strong political or religious views that you don't agree with? Often, when spending several hours at a time in the car...these issues can come up and cause a conflict between the agent and their clients. I've had more than one person call me and say that they're looking for a new agent because they are being "preached to". And, it can be very offensive behavior.

These are just a few ideas to think about. Your relationship with a Realtor is often short-term, but can be very volatile. Even in the best of circumstances, pressures can build because there are so many chances for problems to arise. Finding the home...negotiating with the sellers and their agent...applying for a mortgage...working with a home inspector...termite letters...title searches...the list can go on and on. And problems often arise...and the way they are handled can make all the difference in whether you have a smooth or rough transaction.

You might want to ask the agent how they would handle a particular problem. Get a feel for the way this person answers the question. Are they giving you an open, honest answer or do you sense a "bristling" in their answer.

Establish the way you prefer to communicate. Do you want phone calls? And if so, what time of day is better for you? Or, would you prefer emails? Always make sure you understand each other.

Finding someone that you can trust and feel comfortable with does take some effort, but the resulting smooth transaction will be well worth the effort.
About the Author
Pam Rumley is a veteran real estate broker in the Nashville, TN area. She is a true Exclusive Buyer's Agent. There is never a conflict of interest regarding your real estate transaction. You can be assured of receiving 100% of her attention and loyalty - 100% of the time.

For more information, visit her comprehensive website, www.NashvilleRealEstateAuthority.com
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