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What Should I Look For When Hiring A Real Estate Agent?

Real estate or real agent?!  Well, both actually!  “Real” estate essentially is property, typically buildings or land.   And a “real” (or the right) estate agent can make all the difference!  Searching to either buy or sell property can take a great deal of time, money and energy.  This is where a real estate agent can be of great help.

The list of estate agents in the UK is numerous and the choice of the right one needs to be made carefully. You can easily find a number of agents by a simple google search or browsing through the social media. Being aware that Facebook and Twitter are the sites where people spend most time, real estate agencies have been using this for their marketing purposes. It might seem random that such-and-such agency popped up on your screen, but in reality it’s the effect of them hiring a social media marketing agency like The Marketing Heaven. The downside of if is that you as their client have to cover those expenses. In other words, don’t just jump on the first real estate agency you come across, but rather take your time to shop around. Also, try to look for agents in the area where you are planning to buy or sell property, as their knowledge of the neighbourhood will be more profound – for example, if in London, it would be best to look at agents there or, if in any of the suburbs like Surrey, it would be best to check on estate agents in Surrey. Details of such agents can be easily obtained from online websites.

  • There are 2 types of estate agents – Real estate agents and Realtors. A real estate agent is a professional with a valid licence to help people buy and sell properties. The main difference between the two is that a Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) who comes under the Realtor Code of Ethics, which makes him more responsible for handling the purchase or sale of the property and who pledges to do the best for his client’s interests.
  • Searching the market is essential before hiring a real estate agent. This can be done online but personal references are also helpful.  You can ask friends and family to recommend an agent who they know is efficient.   One way to seek out agents is to visit their offices to have an overall view of how they work, behave with clients, the type of information they share and so on.  If you are focusing on property in any particular area – for example, Surrey, then it would be good to see which estate agents in Surrey are marketing homes similar to the one you want to buy or sell.
  • As one website put it, “in order to spot the good, you must first be aware of the bad”! While choosing an agent, be aware of the following:
  • A dual agent is one who works for both the seller and buyer. Although this may seem ideal, unfortunately, such an agent cannot have the best interest of both parties in mind and, hence, one will end up on the losing side.
  • Some unreliable agents use false advertising methods, by listing properties which have already been sold, to attract buyers, so beware!
  • The Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is provided by real estate agents, giving details of how much a property is worth and why it is priced at that rate. Sometimes, this analysis can be manipulated by an avoidable agent who may want a quick sale and choose to show a cheaper house price index to obtain an easier sale.

  • It is good to check multiple quotes or loan options, to make sure your agent is indeed doing his best, as some can suggest their friends or colleagues for referrals in order to make it appear that they are getting you the best deal.
  • An honest real estate agent will be truthful in marketing the house, with information of anything less than what is expected. However, a dishonest one may use promising language while listing the site, suggesting more than the property really offers, which can result in buying at a higher price or selling at a lower rate.  It is, therefore, best to do your own research on what the property is really worth.
  • There is some debate, especially if you are a first-time property buyer, about whether you should choose an estate agent first, or a mortgage lender. The advantage seems to be in favour of an agent, as an experienced real estate agent will help in choosing a good lender faster than a lender will assist in choosing a good agent!
  • Agent’s fee: The seller usually pays the agent’s fee for negotiations on behalf of the buyer.  However, sometimes a buyer will have to pay the brokerage, as in the case where no commission is offered since the seller himself is selling the property.  It is good to check this out as well.
  • You should stay in regular touch with your estate agent so that, as soon as a suitable property/buyer comes up, you will be the first he contacts!
  • Once your offer is accepted, ensure that the real estate agent takes the property off the market list and also confirms your offer in writing.

Whether you are a buyer or seller, choosing the right real estate agent is of utmost importance!

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