How to choose your REALTOR® partner
Did you know there are over 14,000 licensed real estate agents in the Austin area? Did you also know that only between 10% and 20% of them are actually full time professionals doing 6 transactions or more? So, how do you know who to choose when selling your biggest asset?
We took some time to lay out a few things to look for and some questions to ask when choosing the right agent with whom to partner.
First off- what is a REALTOR®? A REALTOR® is a member of the National Association of REALTORs (NAR). To receive that distinction (it's actually a trademark), an agent must undergo additional training, demonstrate appropriate professional skills, and subscribe to the NAR code of ethics.
Being a member of the local board of REALTORS is just as important. This gives them access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) which will guarantee more eyes on your home.
Support. The support system an agent has behind them is important to how they can support you as a client. Agencies like Allure Real Estate have two broker/owners with over 30 years of combined experience, full marketing support in all areas- direct mail, social media and most importantly, a lead capture system that will help convert those eyes to buyers. Make certain your agent is backed by tech, marketing, knowledgeable brokers and experience.
Desigations. Some agents proudly decorate their email signature lines with all the designations they have acquired...But what do they mean and are they important?
Here are some common designations:
- GRI, which stands for Graduate REALTOR® Institute, is a nationally recognized professional real estate designation. The GRI designation is a real estate industry designation similar to various industry designations such as: CPA - Certified Public Accountant.
- ABR, or Accredited Buyer's Representative. This means the agent has passed courses in buyer representation and would know how to protect your interests when negotiating a purchase or a mortgage.
- MRP, or Military Relocation Professional. An agent who is an MRP has experience working with military personnel and their families.
- CIPS, or a Certified International Property Specialist. If you want to buy property overseas, an agent with this designation will know exactly how to help you.
- SRES, or Seniors Real Estate Specialist. If you are over 50, an SRES is a good choice, as s/he specializes in meeting your particular needs.
- CLHMS, or Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, is a designation for those that have worked extensively in luxury and and premium housing.
Testimonials. Nothing speaks louder than the voices of the agents' past clients. Ask for testimonials. (You can view our testimonials here) and/or review ratings. Yelp is a great source for reviewing an agent.
Experience. Sometimes, the busiest agent isn't always the best. Big teams and mega agents do a lot of volume but you sacrifice a personal relationship. Communication can become robotic. This is, in most cases, your biggest asset you'll ever sell. You want an agent that is both experienced AND available.
Go with your gut. The selling process can last quite some time, possibly months. You want to have open communication and feel comfortable asking questions and getting answers. You can hire the most experienced agent, but if you don't click, communication can get mixed up and the process can become harder than it has to be.
To start the interview process, find and agent here!