When searching for your dream home on the plateau, you shouldn’t pick just any REALTOR® to help you on your house hunt. Instead, you want to find the most qualified and professional person who fits your personality and needs. Even though interviewing REALTORS® can be intimidating, here are seven tricks to make the process go as smoothly as possible. After all, you deserve the best real estate experience that is both stress-free and fun.
Prepare for the conversation
Before you even get to the interview, start by getting your plans in order. During this stage, you should get a firm handle on your budget range, what kind of home you want, what your needs and wants look likeand so on. If you don’t have this cemented, it can be easy to get lost in other people's ideas. All you need is one charismatic REALTOR® to convince you that you'll love crown molding when, in fact, you don't. A situation like this will lead to renovations and possibly even another move. Having a clear vision for your future home will protect you from this scenario.
You should also prepare your questions for the REALTOR® long before meeting them. Having a good list of questions can ensure they work in the right kind of area for you, have the experience level you want, can network well with other REALTORS® and have your best interests at heart. You should interview at least three agents before making a final choice.
One of the most important things you should ask your REALTOR® about is their experience in the field. You should start doing this even before the interview. This helps you vet all REALTORS® of interest before you even schedule an appointment. Once you do your research, you can focus your interview time on professionals that have the best shot at being your REALTOR®.
For the REALTORS® that make it to the interview stage, you should ask them about their real estate career thus far. From proof of previous clients to asking about their specific skillsets, you want to get a clear picture of how they’ll work for you.
In the digital age, knowing how to buy and sell real estate is a vital part of the business. So, when interviewing your REALTOR®, ask what their marketing style looks like. Is it a half-baked landing page and a barely used Twitter, or a well-designed personal site with an active Instagram? Some marketing green flags in real estate are actionable plans, a social media following, videography, staging plans, photography, and/or a designated marketing manager.
When buying or selling homes aross the plateau, you’ll want them to be able to get you the best deals possible. Showing an effective marketing system means they’re well-prepared.
During your interview, ask them about the current homes for sale in your desired area . And no, not just because you’re interested in buying them! An agent with extensive local knowledge is a game-changer, so you’ll want to check what they know about the area. Can they tell you the best local neighborhoods for top-rated schools? Or what area of Cashiers is best for people who like to get involved in the community? Similarly, what’s it like living in Highlands? REALTORS® who can answer these questions know the area well and will be the best help in finding the perfect home that fits your needs.
Your interests in mind
One part of the interview isn’t exactly about what you’re asking the REALTOR®—it’s about what they’re asking you. Pay attention to how the REALTOR® reacts, listens and asks questions. If they’re engaging with your specific concerns and interests in a home, that’s a good sign. If they don’t have any questions about your goals as a buyer or seller, that’s a little concerning. After all, you want a REALTOR® that puts your wants and needs first.
The best traits for a REALTOR® include responsiveness, comfort, honesty, informativeness and reliability. If they’re focused, timely and engaged while speaking with you, you may have a winner on your hands.
While you can ask the REALTOR® about their clients during the interview, they’ll be biased to tell you about the best experiences. A thorough buyer or seller will also look up said REALTOR® name online and check that client referrals and reviews are encouraging.
Testimonials and referrals are the lifeblood of real estate. After all, most agents get 42% of their business from repeat clients and referrals. So, if your REALTOR® of interest has positive client feedback, that’s a good sign that they’ll do similar work with you.
Know real estate etiquette
So, you’ve done your three interviews. At this vital point in the vetting process, pick your REALTOR® carefully. You don’t want to make the mistake of choosing the wrong person and creating an active mess for yourself.
Here are the basics: only work with one agent at a time, and if you want to switch agents, still comply with the rules of your contract. Say you’re selling a home instead—you can take down your listing but you must wait for your contract period to expire. Then, you can re-list your home again with a new agent. It takes extra time, but it's the best way to switch agents without causing any offense.
If anything, this is all extra proof that you should be careful during the other steps of this process so you can have a painless real estate experience. Choose a good REALTOR® from the beginning for your Highlands real estate search and you'll never have to do this. Ready to take the next step? Reach out to one of the experienced members of the Cashiers Valley Real Estate team to get started!
*Header photo courtesy of Pexels