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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

CHOOSING A REAL ESTATE AGENT THAT WILL GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO!

You are ready to buy or sell your home in or around the Rockwall, TX area, but first, you need a real estate agent. And you want a good one. You want to make sure you get a knowledgeable professional to help you buy or sell your home and not just a run of the mill real estate agent, right? This is a huge transaction, one of the biggest investments most people make, and the right Rockwall real estate agent will be the one who helps determine the home you end up in or how much you ultimately sell for – in other words, this is really important to get right.

So how do you know if you are getting a really good agent, or just a mediocre one?

You are going to need to ask some tough questions and really know what to look for in order to ensure you get the best possible experience, deal and outcome.

So how do you do this? We’re going to help you. From among our own Rockwall real estate agents (with decades of expertise), we have compiled a list of key traits and questions to ask that will you help identify a top real estate agent in Rockwall from a mediocre one – this holds true in any market. Some of the observations will be made by you throughout the conversation, such as how well you “jive with them” in general. Other considerations will include how they answer your tough questions and whether they come off as experts or just seem to be fibbing it.

First though, let’s start with the basics. What is the difference between a real estate agent and a realtor?

A real estate agent is not necessarily a Realtor. A Realtor is a certified member of the National Association of Realtors, which holds them to a higher standard of practice. You can even look up a Rockwall real estate agent to see if they are licensed by clicking here. On TREC’s license holder search, you will also be able to view a real estate agent’s real estate education history as part of their license holder profile.  

Then, continuing our basics. What exactly does a real estate agent do?

  • Buyer’s Agent – A buyer’s agent will help home buyers search for and shop homes on the market in Rockwall area, submit competitive offers and then negotiate for the best deal on your behalf.
  • Seller’s Agent – A seller’s agent is going to help you prepare your Rockwall-area home for the sale, price the home appropriately for the market, list the home and then market the home to potential buyers looking throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and beyond, and finally, negotiate with buyers to get you top-dollar.

 

So, how do you begin your search for the best Rockwall real estate agent?

Start with asking multiple friends and family members for recommendations. Begin making a list of the names you get from them along with a couple of notes about what they liked about their real estate agent and what the outcome was for them. For instance, were they selling, and the agent got them over-list price and negotiated a great deal on their Rockwall-area home? Were they buying and won an offer out of over 20 other bids?

Next, look online for top real estate agents in Rockwall and highly-rated real estate firms or groups in your area that have the highest ratings and reviews on Google, Zillow and Yelp. Add some of the top ones from the Rockwall area to your list. Then Google them. Read their biographies and profiles, ratings, and testimonials from past clients.

Once you have compiled a list of 3-4 Rockwall real estate agents, it’s time to give them a call and begin interviewing to find the Realtor who will work best for you and fit your personality — and your needs as a buyer or seller (or both).

So, what are you going to look for to distinguish a top Rockwall real estate agent from the rest?

Play Video about Choosing the Best Real Estate Agent

#1 COMMUNICATION

This is the most important thing of all. Does this person have a track record for picking up the phone, being responsive, communicative? Did your friend or family member say this person communicated well – or was it specified in a client review? First, check this one off the list before any other point. You want someone that is going to be available to you and commit to being responsive (and quickly) to your questions, requests to view a certain home or at any stage of the process. Good Communication from your real estate is going to be KEY to your experience and success.

Part of good communication is going to be for you to set your expectations for what you expect of them, and to ask them in return about what they expect of you. This will get the partnership and relationship, and ultimate outcome, off to a good start.

#2 PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF REAL ESTATE EXPERIENCE

These are where some of those interview questions are going to come in to play. This is what you need to ask:

  • How many homes have you sold? (Caution, you do not want to necessarily choose the realtor who has sold the most homes. If they have 100 transactions per year, they might not give you the focus and attention that you deserve.) But look for someone with experience in sales and business and who can prove they know what they are doing.
  • Where have you sold homes? (Look for someone who has a record of selling homes in the area where you will be selling, if you’re a seller.)
  • How many offers have you won in the past year? (Again, look for someone with a proven track record of winning the offer for the client.)
  • What is your average sales price? (Look for someone with a price point at least somewhat near to what you expect your home to sale for, or for the price range within your budget if you are looking to buy.)

#3 KNOWLEDGE OF THE REAL ESTATE MARKET AND PROCESSES

In this aspect, you want someone who is well aware and has a good grasp on current market conditions, price setting, making offers in the Rockwall area and who will know how to guide you, explain the market to you and get you the best deal. Questions to ask to ensure you are choosing a Rockwall real estate agent with this type of market and industry knowledge include:

  • What do you think of the Rockwall real estate market?
  • What is your knowledge of the finance process? How do you communicate with lenders and title companies?
  • What are the expectations of the inspection process? Do you have inspectors you can trust, and are they highly knowledgeable or do they just do the bare minimum?
  • Ask About short sales and foreclosures and status of those in the market.
  • Do you have any certifications? (You are looking for someone who continues their education and takes courses to improve their practice on a regular basis.)
  • Ask them to explain the whole process you will go through and timeline. Ask them about contracts and what they typically include.
Picking a Realtor

#4 GREAT NEGOTIATION SKILLS

Whether you are selling or buying, you want someone who is going to negotiate strongly on your behalf to ensure you get the best deal or top dollar for your home. Find out if they approach the situation as a “win-win.” If that is the case, you want someone else on your team. This means they are more about the smoothness and quickness of the detail as opposed to being in your corner and fighting to get you what you deserve on your side of the table. Find someone who regularly brushes up their negotiation skills through courses and training. Also, find someone who exudes confidence in their bearing and the way they carry themselves. Questions to ask include:

  • How do you approach the negotiation process?
  • Do you have any good examples of what you were able to negotiate for one of your buyers or sellers in the past year? (Look for the real estate agent that was able to save their client $20,000 when it came to a new roof. Or, look for the agent who was able to get clients over-asking price consistently when selling their home in the area. Especially in this market, getting over-asking should be something a good agent is able to do for you.)

#5 REVIEWS & RECOMMENDATIONS

This is where you want to ask around and get recommendations from family and friends or Google “Top agents in Rockwall, TX,” “Top Real Estate Firms in Rockwall, TX,” and then take a look at those Google, Zillow or Yelp Reviews. These are going to be a strong indicator of what kind of performer a particular agent is in the area and how satisfied their clients were. You may even get a peek at who is the best negotiator based on what the clients have to say about their experience with the agent. You’re looking for a 5 Star Realtor. Nothing less. Five Star agents are out there and ready to work with you today. Do not settle for a firm or agent with less than 5 Stars.

#6 GREAT MARKETING (IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO SELL YOUR HOME IN THE ROCKWALL AREA)

This is where you dive in and review their social media platforms, their website, and ask around about how they marketed other people’s homes. Ask the agent themselves what kind of marketing they or their firms offers when selling your home. This is what you should look for – and again, do not settle for less. There are agents and firms right here in Rockwall, that offer all of these items when it comes to marketing your property to get you the most interest, offers and exposure in the marketplace:

  • Great Social Media Presence across all platforms with at least 15,000 total followers. Check to ensure they have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram. Then, check their engagement, followers and what they put out for listings.
  • Most people these days prefer video to any other kind of content. Ensure the Realtor or firm you choose is going to put together a video to market your property.
  • Listing Services. Do they have a listing specialist who is specialized in making your property shine through content and beautifully worded descriptions, who understands what features to include and make stand out based on what buyers are currently looking for in the Rockwall area and this market? Also, do they use a listing service that ensures your home gets exposure on over 100+ internet websites? They should! You should be everywhere online. This is how 95% of home buyers start their search is online.
  • Do they do Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Google ads? Ask the Realtor how they are going to advertise your property. They should mention all of these or else you are not going to be getting the exposure you deserve.

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