Your real estate agent is your first point of contact for home buying or selling. In Massachusetts, it’s free for the buyer to work with an agent because sellers pay the broker fee. There are some important criteria for a real estate agent:
- Is the agent full-time? Like many professions, a full-time agent is likely able to offer more professional help and can be more available than someone working as an agent part-time. Imagine when you need to make an urgent offer on a home or the home you’re trying to sell is suddenly in a tense negotiation situation. Are you comfortable working with someone who has another job on the side?
- Investment experience. Buying or selling a home is one of the most important investment decisions in your life. You need to think about the home from an investment standpoint from the moment you start looking to buy a home. When you decide to rent out your home someday, it’s important that your agent also has a professional property management team to help provide guidance in this increasingly complex rental market. Many of my contractors and vendors have worked with my team for years and can offer competitive rates due to our steady referral of business. This translates into better value for my clients. I offer property management exclusively for my own clients to ensure the best quality service.
- Does this agent think in terms of my best interest? A good agent should not make you feel pushed and should respect your opinions. They should point out the facts even when they run counter to their own interests. They should appear knowledgeable and willing to explain information.
- Broker license. A broker license is a higher credential than the agent license and is relatively rare. It recognizes agents with years of experience who pass a much more rigorous exam than required for the standard agent license so they can open their own firm and train other agents. This is another level of credibility that should not be ignored.