Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Make sure they are a fulltime Realtor. And ask where do they advertise their properties. Even if they have one listing they should be advertising it. Ask if the agent does video tours. Maybe one of the most important questions is does the agent have a real estate website - not a Brokers website but their own personal site on top of a Broker website. Then talk with them. See if you connect with that person. Does that agent have any experience related to real estate - for instance is he/she on the Executive Board of a Board of Realtors, Chairman of any committees or have they been in the past. The more experience they have the better.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. If you are buying land the best time is the winter - no trees or brush to hide the surrounding land. I guess you could say the same for homes too - but one main thing every buyer should do is go to a home when it is raining. The idea here is to see if there are any leaks or standing water under the house. I wish I knew to look for an agent that is fulltime and advertises. Unfortunately most agents do just what the bad rumors say which is put a sign in the yard and never advertise beyond the basic stuff like the multiple listing service. You would be very surprised to find out how few agents actually are internet and website savvy.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. If you are a buyer ask if the agent will represent you - that is called a Buyers Agent here in Georgia. People don't realize that a lot of agents will not represent a buyer. If you are a seller ask about advertising. I know I repeat myself but I have seen the lack of responsibility most agents take when it comes to advertising their listings. And unfortunately most sellers don't hold them accountable. If the agent does not have their own website or blog walk away. Stats show close to or above 90% of all buyers search online before ever contacting an agent. Also ask if they work weekend. You think that sounds ridiculous - ask some agents.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. A buyer has to get preapproved with a mortgage company before even looking at a real estate magazine or website. It is tough to get a mortgage with a bad credit score so by finding out upfront where you stand will save a lot of people a lot of time. Now keep in mind the more important part of getting preapproved for a loan is negotiating. If you are preapproved you are in a very good negotiating position. If you haven't been approved a seller may play hardball with you regardless of the market conditions. It could be worth thousands of dollars to you. Another tip would be cruise the area you want to live in - or the city or town. Look for signs in yards. I suggest you call only one agent - if that agent is working hard for you then keep them - if not find someone who will work hard for you and your interests.