Picking a real estate agent – the right agent – can be the most important part of your real estate experience. Using football jargon imagine that you, the potential Buyer or Seller, are the team owner. The real estate agent is your quarterback, and the running backs, receivers and linemen of the team are the title company, surveyor, pest inspector, home inspector, mortgage rep, and so on. You get the picture. Your quarterback, i.e. real estate agent, is the most important component of your team. Under your direction, they call the plays and make sure everyone is doing their job correctly and promptly.
Picking a real estate agent consists of two main criteria – knowledge and experience. To find a knowledgeable agent, look at their educational credentials. The two most important designations – which appear after their name – are GRI, which means Graduate of Real Estate Institute, and Broker. These two advanced education courses require a combined effort of over 200 hours of class time and rigid testing. No wonder only about 1 in 5 agents reach this level of education.
Other designations which I personally have achieved are ABR (Accredited Buyers Rep), RSPS (Resort & Second Home Property Specialist), SFR (Short Sale & Foreclosure Specialist), and ePro (Certificate for Internet Professionalism). Wow, that’s a mouthful! What it all means is that top real estate professionals have taught me the ins and outs of these topics which are very important in making me the best equipped to handle your transaction.
The experience criteria in picking a real estate agent is the icing on the cake. Of the nearly 2 million people working in the real estate field nationally, 1.16 million are licensed agents. Of that, just 600,000 are considered full time. They are the ones who “live” real estate. They are always on the go, checking daily on the MLS, going to Open Houses, participating in property viewing caravans, reading local newspapers to keep up on the latest land use issues, etc. Picking a real estate agent should be from that pool of 600,000. Who are they? Now that you know the criteria, ask questions of those agents on your list of potential Realtors and you’ll soon have your quarterback!