Choosing the right real estate agent is an important decision with long-term impact. Carson Alexander of the Carson Alexander Team has helped get buyers into their dream homes all over New York City. When asked why picking a good agent is important, he shares, “Typical real estate closing cycles are 2-3 months, which means that you’re going to be in a relationship with this person for a minimum of 3 months”. Therefore, picking a real estate agent whom you respect, trust, and get along with is an integral element to a successful home buying search. Below, Carson offers 5 tips for picking the right real estate agent for you.
Tip #1: Choose someone with whom you have chemistry
“The first appointment you have with a real estate agent should be a chemistry meeting,” explains Carson. “Ask yourself ‘Do I want to be in a relationship with this person for the next 3-6 months’? Or, am I going to curse everytime I see their name pop up on my phone?” Liking your real estate agent and respecting their expertise is a critical first step in a successful agent-client relationship.
Tip #2: Decide between a team or an individual
“There is no right answer when it comes to whether you should work with an individual real estate agent or a team of professionals,” says Carson. “This is a decision that simply comes down to personal preference. Working with a team will mean more resources and thus a greater ability to work around your schedule. Working with an individual agent will be more personal, but they will be a one-stop shop for all viewings and sources of information.” Deciding your preference for agent versus team before you begin your search will help in narrowing down your options and saving time.
Tip #3: Find an agent with relevant experience
Carson points out that real estate is not some code no one can crack, “Real estate is not rocket science, but it is contextual.” says Carson. “The more experience your agent has in buying and selling, the better off they will be at bulletproofing transactions. If your agent runs into something they haven’t dealt with before, they should be transparent with you on their shortcomings and pay extra close attention.”
Tip #4: Vet your agent with these 5 important questions:
Carson offers these five questions for your agent vetting process.
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
The more experienced the agent, the more able they are to deal with certain home buying scenarios. You don’t need an agent with 50+ years of experience, but choosing an agent with at least 15 buyer transactions is a good benchmark.
- Have you helped people buy/sell this kind of property/this area before?
A condo is different from a co-op in many ways, and buying/selling is no different. Choosing an agent with experience directly related to the property you are buying is essential.
- How do you see your role in the transaction?
Different agents will have different perspectives. This question is a great precursor to the “expectations conversation” described in tip #5 below.
- What kinds of things do I need to watch out for?
A good open-ended question that will provide insight into the agent’s process and mindset.
- What questions am I not asking?
This is an excellent catch-all question that will give your agent the opportunity to share things you haven’t discussed yet.
Tip #5: Have the “expectations conversation” early on in the relationship
As you may have already guessed, the expectations conversation is your chance to level set on relationship expectations between you and your agent. Ask your agent “What can I expect of you, and what do you expect of me throughout this transaction?” Having this powerful conversation early on in the relationship saves both parties wasted time and energy.
If you are ready to find the right real estate agent for your home buying journey, get in touch today by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.