Choosing and Using Your Real Estate Agent
Statistics tell us that as many as 80% of all home buyers will start their search for a new home by browsing the Internet. The Internet is often used for browsing new properties, especially when there is distance involved. While looking at the Internet gives a general feel for areas and prices, for obvious reasons, at some point you will need to involve a real estate agent. Local real estate agents know their areas and know about pending building plans, schools etc. Often on the Internet you can only see the actual property for sale. Familiarity with the Internet is one of the key requirements to being a skillful real estate agent in today's market.
This skill not only speeds up the property finding, it also means that the computer can do the compilations for you, and you can get the perfect home without getting out of your chair! One of the questions to ask a real estate agent is how familiar are they on the Internet? Make sure they can contact you by email and that they can turn up the MLS listings for you to look at. Sit with your real estate agent and get the virtual tour on a couple of homes. If you are not so familiar with the Internet yourself, you will soon realize how much time and legwork it can save you. Often, real estate agents will actually state in their profiles that they are Internet proficient. This could mean that they may know more about market trends and economic indicators in the business world as well as having all the realty facts at their fingertips.
Many real estate agents take time out to attend special courses that upgrade their skills. These courses can cover anything from financial expertise to selling homes to seniors. When selecting a real estate agent ask if he has been on any extra curricula courses. Check on the number of sales that the office has recorded in the last month or two and ask how many are his. Does he mind if you check on a couple of the 'sold' house owners and see how his references check out? Can you judge his negotiating skills? Does he listen to what you actually ask? Ideally, you want to feel really comfortable with the fact that the real estate agent seems a person that will understand your choices and wishes. If you want to save time, money and frustration, take the time to find a real estate agent that knows exactly what you want and who knows exactly where to find it on the Internet.
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