Choosing to buy or sell a house is one of the biggest and most expensive decisions you will make as an adult. It’s exciting, but also can be overwhelming.
There is no need to take on this monumental task by yourself. A real estate agent can offer their expertise, experience, and insight to help the home-buying process go smoothly. But there are so many to choose from—how do you find the right agent?
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, here are our tips on how to find the best real estate agent in Staunton, Va.
What to do Before Contacting a Real Estate Agent
No two real estate agents are alike! Just as you might choose a doctor because you prefer how she explains a diagnosis or a mechanic because he is extremely accessible, you want a real estate agent with whom you feel comfortable.
In a sea of real estate billboards, yard signs, and internet ads, how do you determine which smiling face to call? Don’t dial yet, there are a few steps you should take first.
- Get preapproved. Before contacting a real estate agent, talk to a lender to get preapproved for a mortgage. The lender will check your financial history and provide a letter stating that you qualify for a loan within a certain range. This shows real estate agents that you are a serious buyer.
- Do your research. A quick Google search can provide a starting point for top agents in the Staunton, Va., area. Check out ratings and reviews, then narrow your search and visit a few websites for more information. It’s also helpful to check an agent’s social media platforms where you might get a better glimpse of their personality and see how they interact with clients.
- Ask around. Real estate agents will tell you they love referrals. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Why did they have a good experience with their agent? How was their personality? What did they like or dislike about the buying or selling process with this agent?
- Talk to agents before committing. Once you have your short list, give these agents a call or stop by their office. Ask whatever questions you might have and chat about their process. It’s a great way to determine if you will feel comfortable working with them.
What to do When you Choose a Real Estate Agent
You’ve done the research and found a real estate agent! Before jumping into the process, there are a few things you should discuss with your agent.
Next, determine how you want to communicate with your real estate agent. Does texting work best during the work day, or would you see an email first? Can you take phone calls and, if so, what is the best number?
Buyers should prepare a list of home preferences to share. Let your agent know how far you are willing to travel for a home. Provide a list of must-have and nice-to-have features, such as off-street parking, air conditioning, two bathrooms, etc.
For sellers, discuss how much you are willing to spend on home improvements. Ask your realtor what resources or contacts they have to help prepare your home for sale, for example contractors, landscapers, or painters.
When you are ready to commit, sign an agency disclosure. This statement explains your relationship with the real estate agent and how they will represent you. If the agent presents any other paperwork, be sure you understand it before you sign it! If not, ask questions.
What to do During the Home Buying or Selling Process
There are a few things you can do to help develop a successful relationship with your real estate agent.
Remember that real estate agents work off commission, meaning they earn a percentage of the sale when they close the deal. They want to do a great job for you. In turn, it’s important to respect their time and effort. Be sure to keep appointments and do your best to be punctual.
A key to a good relationship is communication. Be open and honest about what you are looking for.
Remember that your agent is an expert in their field. You are working with them to alleviate the headaches that can come from the home buying or selling process. Trust them and let them do their job.
Finally, understand that this process takes time. There are inspections, approvals, and plenty of paperwork to sign. If you are lucky, the right agent will help you buy or sell your home quickly. However, it will take weeks or months before getting to the official move day.
Work with Denise Ramey Real Estate
If you want a reliable real estate agent who offers plenty of expertise, check out the team at Denise Ramey Real Estate. We’re here to help your home buying or selling process go as smoothly as possible!