6 Tips to Help You Find a Great Realtor®

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You’ve gotta be smart to find a great Realtor...

...or at the very least, know what to look for and the right questions to ask them. You should expect a real estate agent in Columbus, Ohio to use ethics, education, experience, organization, and influence to get you in or out of the house that you want. Because it affects your pockets, you should know some important things about a Realtor and how they intend to help you before trusting them with your business. Pay close attention. This part is important.

Here are 6 tips that will help you choose the right Realtor:

1. Experience

To be considered a professional, one has to have education, skill level, experience, and wisdom. A real estate professional should be invested in the art and science of real estate, constantly increasing their knowledge and mostly out of the office working on transactions.

Has your agent closed enough deals to know the ins and outs of the game?
Do they have the confidence to resolve common real estate obstacles?
Have they developed a positive rapport with other agents, contractors, inspectors, etc.? And if the agent is newer (all great agents were once new), do they have a team of  professionals that can be called in for support when answering tough questions and negotiating complex deals?

2. Protection (Fiduciary Responsibility)

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Protection by a real estate agent comes in the form of making sure that everyone with access, interest and involvement in your transaction respects you and treats you fairly. From protecting your house from unscrupulous, nosey neighbors to eliminating tire kicker offers, a great Realtor will honor your asset and your safety. From asserting your bargaining power to steering away from price gougers, a great Realtor will uphold your boundaries.

Pay attention to how she manages her time and how well she respect yours.
Do you get the sense that she cares about what’s best for you or that all she can see is the profit?  
Google any reviews on her service. Check for any record of complaints.
Does she care enough to operate her business properly and provide you proper service?

3. Knowledge

Imagine wondering why that grouchy old man won’t sell his house for less than $280,000 when it’s clearly only worth 250,000 max and still on the market over a year later. Then imagine your Realtor calling you about a house that just came on the market, with more land but less sq. footage than Mr. Grouchy’s, though similar in style, that requires a little more work, is in a quiet neighborhood, and is only $240,000. Oh, and by the way, the seller’s agent is also listing a 4 unit building with a seller that is open to creative financing… (you did say you wanted to start investing right?). And did he mention that rents in that area typically run between $800 and $1200 a month and he can introduce you to his attorney to talk about lease options. You get my drift here?

Is your Realtor invested enough in real estate to stay abreast of current trends, inventory and conditions?
Does he clearly communicate and exercise common practices so as to avoid headaches?
How much does he know about the neighborhoods and communities in your city?
Can he site sources for where he arrived at his facts and figures?
Does he know exactly where to turn for answers to questions that he isn’t privy to?

4. Access

Realtors have secret wands that they wave when you agree to work with them. Those wands open up access to a magical new world of available properties, marketing tools, networks of helpful people, qualified buyers, financial resources, market awareness and negotiating power. They are trained to use these resources as effectively as possible, especially since you’re paying for those services. But all real estate agents don’t necessarily utilize these solutions to the best of their abilities or to your advantage. You deserve better.

Have them provide you with a marketing plan, complete with all of the platforms and systems that will be used.
Does she easily refer you to related professionals such as mortgage brokers, contractors, and home warranty reps?
Can she quickly provide you with a current analysis on a certain neighborhood that you’re thinking of buying in?  
Is she able to provide you with a wide look at all available real estate inventory in Columbus and current market trends?

5. Relationships

You’ve watched the scene before. The lady at a Columbus diner is ranting about how she asked for gluten free pancakes, but of course the “ditz” brings out regular pancakes. The manager comes to the rescue with a twinkle in his winning smile. When all is said and done, the customer is happily enjoying her weird pancakes with no tab and a free appetizer coupon for her next visit.

Isn’t that kind of how you expect a great Realtor to behave? He should be fostering positive relationships with buyers, sellers, agents, attorneys, lenders, inspectors and everyone else in the industry. Besides, all transactions aren’t perfect and virtually none are completed without some kind of glitch or disagreement. Your Realtor should have enough rapport and influence with clients and professionals to inspire positive results, even in tough negotiations and in the face of conflict.

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Is he well respected by other agents in the industry? Would they work with him again?
Does he believe in and truly exhibit his ability to negotiate?
Can he maintain his composure even in tough conversations?
Is he constantly networking and involved in opportunities to build his rolodex?
Does he believe in as much fairness as possible?

6. Management

Great realtors maintain some sense of order that makes them efficient. Whether they have scale through the people that they employ or the systems that they use, everything operates with a sense of flow. Transactions come equipped with sensitive paperwork, research, phone and email correspondence, marketing, legalities, and a trail of people that must be appeased before anything closes. You need to make sure that your agent manages the administration of your transaction with discretion, time efficiency and order.

Do they have a team of professionals that serve them?
If they operate alone, are their systems efficient enough to complete tasks properly and on time?
Are they constantly losing documents or missing voicemail and emails?
Do their document and file management systems operate productively?
Is their general personality reflective of a person who is energetic and fluid or tense and overwhelmed?

But wait! Have you heard?

There’s this incredible new livestream coming up on Facebook. Its called “Ask Theresa.” Every Wednesday at noon, Theresa is going to answer your real estate questions. What better way to finally get connected with a great realtor, get to know her awesome agents, and learn more about real estate. She’s going to tell you what’s happening around Columbus, Ohio in areas such as:

  • Neighborhood values
  • School districts
  • Buyers vs. sellers markets
  • Homeownership programs
  • New builder companies
  • Home staging for sellers
  • Preparing your finances for purchase
  • Revitalization zones to invest in
  • Property Management
  • And so much more!

Do you want Theresa to answer one of your real estate questions on an upcoming Facebook livestream. Ask it below and we'll email you the link to the Take A Look Real Estate page where the show will take place!

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