For most people, buying a home is the biggest financial decision of their life. Then it becomes clear that choosing a real estate agent is a serious consideration that should not be taken lightly. But what factors should be considered when choosing a real estate agent?
Not all real estate agents are created equal. Some real estate agents are notoriously difficult to work with. For example, an agent who is persistent, argumentative, unprofessional, makes an appointment late, or misses an appointment can interfere with the buying process.
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Real estate agents must have a reputation for getting along well with all parties involved in transactions, including buyers and sellers. An agent who takes a lawyer-like approach to passionate advocacy of one party in a real estate transaction will cause the other party to distance itself from the transaction.
Communication and "people" skills are important, such as diplomacy and discretion if difficult situations arise. And of course, honesty is synonymous.
Communication skills involve more than simply imparting information – the main test of effective communication skills is listening skills. The agent should listen to your needs, consider them, and then use the information to lead you to the ideal neighborhood and home for you.
It is also important to make sure that you are dealing with real estate agents who are "local specialists." In many states, licensed real estate agents can conduct real estate transactions anywhere in the state.