Working with a real estate agency to find a home is a common way for buyers to choose the best property for investment. Any agency will usually bend over backwards to make a sale. Finding a real estate agency more interested in selling you the ‘perfect property’ than ‘any property’ is difficult – there are a lot of things that separate a quality agency from the rest.
Don’t just pick whatever name you come across first: take time to choose a real estate agency that is going to work hard for you.
First ask around! Find out from people you know who they found their property through, who the agent was and their experience with them. Referrals are the best way of discerning differences between your local real estate agencies. Alternatively, if you don’t have a lot of people in your social circle with first-hand knowledge, you should take a look online to see if there are any reviews of the agencies you are looking at working with.
Ask to speak to the top selling agents for your area and take note of whose name appears on the local ‘For Sale’ signs in the places you are looking to buy. You want to work with an agency that brokers a lot of properties and a knowledgeable, well connected agent in the area you are looking to buy in.
Make a list of agent names from different agencies and arrange to meet them in person. It is good to have an idea of who you are going to be working with and what the agency they represent can provide that others don’t.
As a buyer, you need to look at as many investment opportunities as possible. Working with larger agencies that have a better reputation will give you access to the latest listings from larger number of sellers. Companies who advertise and market the best through real estate guides, local papers and the Internet attract more listings. Experience isn’t just important for sellers. One of the big differences between a new agent at a small agency and a veteran working at a larger company is contacts. A more experienced agent will know more people, give better advice and have a better understanding of the market you wish to buy in. With more listings that they can show you, you’re sure to get a better investment.
Compared to the small, local companies, a franchised agency can offer additional services beneficial to buyers. Along with Realtors, some agencies have mortgage brokers and investment specialists on staff who can give you direction and help you get better deals and a better return.
The agency you choose to work with has a huge influence on the property you find and the price you pay. It’s crucial you take the time to find the best realtor suited to you – property investments are substantial and any losses can be very damaging. Research your options and choose as best you can.