The right Charleston real estate agent will make the process of buying or selling a home as simple and stress-free as possible. But finding an agent that fits the bill can be a challenge. It’s not quite as simple as hiring the first agent you meet. Here are some tips to help you find the right real estate agent for you.
Choose an Agent with the Right Credentials
Most real estate agents specialize in a particular area, which can be advantageous for you as a buyer or seller. Look for an agent that has the right credentials for your particular situation. Some of the most common designations real estate agents have include:
SRES – Also known as Seniors Real Estate Specialist. These agents have completed specialized training geared towards helping sellers and buyers who are 50 years of age or older.
CRS – Also known as Certified Residential Specialist. These agents have undergone additional training in residential real estate.
ABR – Also known as Accredited Buyer’s Representative. These agents have additional training in representing buyers in real estate transactions.
If you’re selling a home, ask the agent if any past properties here she has sold are similar to yours in location, price and features. It’s best to work with someone who specializes in the type of real estate you’re selling.
Talk to Former Clients
Talking to an agent’s former clients is one of the best ways to gauge the quality of service the agent provides. Ask for a list of homes that the agent has sold within the last 12 months as well as reviews from former clients on third party websites such as Facebook or Google.
When speaking with clients who purchased homes, find out what the asking price of the home was, and what the final sales price was. Create a list of questions beforehand, so you can get a complete picture of the agent’s service quality.
Check the Agent’s Listings
Browse through the agent’s listings online. Check both the real estate agency’s website and Realtor.com (or a similar property aggregator site).
Remember, most buyers start searching for homes online, so you want to choose an agent that can use this tool effectively. One of the key factors to lure in buyers is to create an attractive online listing for your home.
If you’re a buyer, you can check to see if any of the agent’s listings are similar to the type of property you want to buy.
Also, an agent with a fair amount of listings will indicate that he or she has a healthy business. On the other hand, you may want to avoid agents with an overwhelming number of listings as he or she may not be able to provide you with the individual attention you deserve.
Look for an Agent with Experience and Accomplishments
Experience and accomplishments are also important. Find out how long the agent has been in business and whether he or she has earned any awards. You can find out how long the agent has been selling real estate by checking with the state licensing authority, or asking the agent directly.
Also, agents who have won the “Realtor of the Year” may provide you with superior service. This award is given by local or state branches of the NAR, and all candidates are judged by their peers.
One important thing that buyers and sellers tend to overlook is the location of the agent. Ideally, you want to work with an agent who is local and familiar with the area. These agents will know and understand the local market, which means he or she will be able to help you buy or sell a home quickly and efficiently.
Find Your Charleston Real Estate Agent with The Keadle Group
If you are ready to find your perfect home, search our Charleston Real Estate MLS, and let our agents work with you to find the perfect match for your budget and needs. We specialize in many different neighborhoods of Charleston, including Mount Pleasant, Johns Island and James Island Real Estate.