Choosing a Sales Agent

May 17th, 5:12 PM

Whether you are buying your first home, selling your tiny one-bedroom or adding to your portfolio of investment properties, you need the most capable agent for the job. New York City has many to choose from, some a better fit than others, but all are there to make the process as smooth as possible. So how does one choose?

Get recommendations

The best place to start when searching for a good real estate agent is recommendations from friends and family, colleagues and others whose judgment and opinions you trust. Chances are some members of your trusted network recently sold or purchased a home, or know someone who has, and will be more than happy to share their experiences with you, both good and bad.

Research your potential candidates

Once you’ve narrowed your list, do a little reconnaissance. Things to look for include:

  • Customer reviews: Be sure to read the good and the not so good.
  • Past sales history: For each candidate you’re considering, compare the total number of past deals they’ve handled, their monetary value and locations.
  • Current listings: The busiest agent isn’t always the perfect agent for you. While experience and seasoning matter, make sure the agent you choose has time for you and that you’re a priority. That’s not to say that a newer agent won’t be a good fit. They may be eager to make their mark and willing to work overtime to get you the best deal.
  • Experience: Are they well-versed in your particular taste and offerings of the type and value you’re considering? How will they manage your listing? What sort of goals will they define for your listing and what is their plan for accomplishing those goals?

The right fit

It’s important to ensure that your agent understands your expectations. In particular, you should address these details with your agent:

  • Communication style: Are you a texter, an emailer, or do you prefer to chat by phone? How quickly do you expect your agent to respond and in what format?
  • Business acumen: Is your agent serious about doing business with you? Are they working as an agent full time or is real estate their weekend hobby? Will they be there for you if the going gets tough?
  • Availability: If you reach out to your agent, will they answer you directly or direct you to their junior or assistant?

Interview your agent

A real estate agent’s primary job is to represent you and your interests. The best way to determine if your agent will prioritize your business is to ask them for their assurance. Let them know your expectations and be clear about what you need and expect from them. If you do your homework and ask the right questions, chances are you’ll select the right agent for you.

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