Obviously, you’re on the website for Kelly Waltemath, Realtor in Greater New Orleans, so I would encourage you to browse through the information on this site to learn more about the services I offer. However, I will also give you some basic tips about looking for and hiring a real estate agent to begin the process of buying or selling your home.
This is a common sense tip when it comes to hiring anyone to do a job for you. Check out potential Realtors’ Experience and if applicable, their awards and recognition throughout their career. You will want to make sure also, that they have experience handling the type of purchase or sale in which you are involved. For instance, I am experienced in new home sales because I have worked hand-in-hand with builders in several different developments throughout the Greater New Orleans area. If you have a sale, you might find an agent that has more experience selling high-end, million dollar homes or homes located in a certain city or area or homes that have acreage. Ask as many questions as you feel are necessary in order to make you feel comfortable with the agent’s qualifications and experience.
Communication, Feedback, & Honesty:
One quick way to find out if a Realtor is good with communication is how fast they get back to you on the first phone call you make. Surprisingly, there are many professionals in all walks of life that are good at returning phone calls and those that aren’t. Anyone who doesn’t get back to you within 12 to 24 hours (whatever makes you comfortable) should immediately not be considered. Keep in mind that Realtors are “out-of-office” workers who spend time showing homes and spending one-on-one time with their clients when expecting that first call back as well.
Another important part of communication is feedback – honest feedback. You probably have your own set of expectations when it comes to the purchase or sale of a home. As a seller, you may have a specific price in mind. As an investor buyer, you may have an ideal home, located in a neighborhood where you think you will be able to quickly make money by “flipping” the house. As a buyer, you may want to buy a home in a safe neighborhood with lots of kids. Your real estate agent needs to be well-versed in pricing, comps, neighborhood locations, home values / appreciation, etc. It is their job to honestly inform you about your choices, while making sure to set your expectations, so that you don’t “get in over your head.” Make sure that the agent you choose is comfortable at being the expert on your situation. A Realtor who seems uncertain or doesn’t seem to know how to answer your questions may not be the right choice for you.
Especially in the Greater New Orleans area, referrals are an important part of everyday business. A Realtor who has lots of connections with many different types of companies in the real estate industry is an asset to you as a seller or buyer. Being able to refer you to handy man services, contractors, developers, builders, lenders, title companies, appraisers, surveyors, home inspectors, and many more can make a huge difference if you are in the process of dealing with a “high-maintenance” purchase or sale. Tracking down those services can be an exhausting and time-consuming process, so you will want to make sure you ask your prospective real estate agent what types of relationships they have in your area.
Negotiation Skills & Personality:
A real estate agent is a deal maker – your representative on all levels – handling your business for you. This person needs to be able to handle not only the contract and closing process but all of the unexpected and time-sensitive occurrences throughout the home buying and home selling process. Therefore, aggressiveness and tact need to be employed in different situations and in different measures to make sure that your interests are protected. Using the idea of being “firm but kind” is a good place to start when choosing a Realtor. Someone who feels comfortable setting boundaries and “putting their foot down,” but can still effectively and professionally communicate your needs is what you are looking for in an agent.
When considering a real estate agent’s personality, just like anyone you are hiring to do a job for you, if your personalities don’t “mesh,” move on to the next prospect. You are going to be spending a lot of time and a lot of phone calls with this person, and if you feel uncomfortable with their personality right from the start, things probably are not going to change with more exposure!
Overall, ask lots of questions, be picky and specific, and make sure you feel completely comfortable with your choice of Realtor. They are going to be one of the most important choices of your home buying or home selling process!