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Choosing a Realtor to Help You Buy or Sell a Home

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By : Lauren Kline    99 or more times read
With house prices dropped and many people looking to sell their homes to move into something more affordable and many people looking to take advantage of lower prices to buy into the housing market for the first time, there are many people who're looking to hire realtors to help them in their home buying or selling endeavors.

One way to get a few names of agents who you might like to use to buy or sell a house is by asking people who you know that have bought or sold homes previously in your town or city. This isn't to say that you should just use whichever agent your friend or neighbour has used, but it's a good way to get some names of agents who you might want to look into.

Another good way to get names of agents, particularly if you're looking to sell your home, is by looking in your local papers to see which agents put a lot of effort into advertising homes that they're selling. Ideally, when you're selling your home you will want an agent who's willing to put a lot of effort into marketing your home so that it can sell reasonably quickly.

Once you have an idea of who some potential realtors are that you'd like to work with, take a deeper look at them. You are going to want to hire a realtor who specializes in the type of home that you're trying to sell or buy. If you're looking to buy or sell a condo, you want a realtor who knows all the ins and outs of condominiums and the specific issues that can be a part of buying and selling them. Likewise, if you're looking to buy a foreclosure or a short sale, you may want to look into using a realtor who has experience with these types of sales.

Another important aspect of realtor hunting is how much experience a particular agent has. By experience, we're not just talking about the number of years they've held a license, of course, but instead what they've done in the time that they've held that license. There are some great new agents who've not been in the business for very long but have fabulous enthusiasm and are working hard to learn everything possible about the business; there are also some realtors who've been around for years and years who haven't bothered to learn anything new since they started. Don't judge a realtor's experience by the number of years they've been in the business, instead ask them questions to find out what they know and how they feel about learning new things.

You will likely also want to hire a realtor who works full time at selling and buying homes with clients. While there are many good agents who work part time, it is a benefit to you to have your home sale completed in an efficient time frame which is more likely when you have a realtor whose main job is completing that in a timely manner instead of as a side-job.

Another thing that you'll want to look at is an agent's ratio of homes listed to homes sold; while it may be impressive that an agent has sold a lot of homes it is more telling if he or she has sold a large percentage of the homes that they've listed. Some agents don't list a large number of homes but they sell most, if not all, of the ones that they do list.

To get the best results, whether you're looking to buy or sell a home, it is always in your best interest to do your research and make sure that your realtor is someone who you can work with and will help you achieve the result that you're hoping for. Don't be afraid to do your homework and hire the best possible agent for your needs!
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