How to Spot a Great Realtor

How to Spot a Great Realtor

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It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for your next investment property or searching the local market for a home that you can call your own; the entire process is a lot easier to navigate when you partner with a smart, resourceful Realtor. If you’re selling an investment property or the home you’ve lived in for 20 years, you want to know that it’s in excellent hands. 

A good Realtor can serve as the bridge you need, linking buyers to sellers and working with other agents to ensure a smooth transaction that results in everyone getting what they want. 

The Atlanta market is flush with real estate agents. Are you looking for someone with a lot of experience and a huge portfolio of clients or someone new to the game but eager to make their mark? Maybe you want someone who specializes in the type of home you’re looking for or the neighborhoods you’ve targeted. Do you want a large, corporate real estate company representing you or a smaller, boutique agent who focuses on keeping the process more personal? 

There are many qualities that make a great Realtor. You need to know what you’re looking for specifically, but you also need to know a great professional when you see one. 

Here’s our closer look at how to spot a great Realtor and why it’s a good idea to work with them. 

Basics: Experience and Professionalism  

One of the first things to consider when searching for a great Realtor is their level of experience and professionalism. A great Realtor should have successfully closed a number of deals. They’ll have a deep understanding of the local real estate market in general and a specific understanding of what you’re looking for, where your budget is, and what you’re prioritizing in the property you decide to buy. If you’re selling a home and looking for a great Realtor, you’ll want to make sure they understand your timing and what you’re hoping and expecting to earn.

You want to work with a Realtor who has a professional demeanor and makes you feel good about working with them. Can you imagine them negotiating on your behalf when it’s time to settle on a price or the terms of your sale? Will they be willing to go above and beyond to provide excellent service? Those are signs of a great Realtor. 

Reputation Matters in Real Estate 

Real estate is an extremely local business, and when we’re talking about people’s homes, we’re talking about an emotional process. 

A great Realtor will have a strong reputation within the industry and their local community. 

Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients, and ask for referrals from friends or colleagues who have had positive experiences working with a Realtor. When a Realtor has a strong reputation, it’s a good sign they are trustworthy and committed to providing great service.

There are professional organizations who can also make referrals to Realtors in the Atlanta area. It’s also worth noting that a Realtor is a little bit different than a real estate agent.

The term Realtor is actually trademarked by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which means that only agents who are registered and active in NAR can call themselves Realtors. They’ve committed to following a strict code of ethics, and they have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other resources provided by the association. 

A real estate agent can still help you buy and sell houses, but they’re missing that specific and important designation. 

You’re investing a lot of trust in your Realtor. If you come across a real estate professional who you really like, but they’re not a member of NAR, it’s worth exploring why that is. We appreciate professionals who are committed to continuing education and professional development. That’s part of what’s so special about belonging to professional organizations like NAR or the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM). Not only do you know you’re getting a reputable real estate expert, you also know that an entire professional organization is willing to stand behind them. 

This can be a great starting point if you’re struggling to find referrals or recommendations from the people close to you. The National Association of Realtors can give you a list of licensed Realtors in good standing who are nearby to your specific location. 

Great Realtors are Amazing Communicators 

Effective communication is crucial in any business relationship, and when you’re working with a Realtor, this is particularly important. You don’t want to be left with unreturned phone calls or slow responses to your messages. A great Realtor can be counted on to communicate clearly and regularly, keeping you informed about the status of your sale or your purchase and any potential issues that may arise. They will want to be in constant conversation with you, whether they’re looking for the perfect property or drumming up interest from potential buyers. 

Great Realtors allow their communication skills to shine in the following ways: 

  • They know how to listen. If you’re firm on your budget and they’re showing you homes that are $50,000 more than what you’re able to spend, that Realtor is probably not listening. Look for an active listener who is willing to ask questions and commit to understanding what it is you really need. 

  • They’re good writers and photographers (or they work with people who are). You don’t want to see misspellings and grammatical errors in your listing. It doesn’t reflect well on you. Make sure they can create a listing that’s impressive and attention-grabbing. Look for clear, direct instructions when they need something from you. Are their emails easy to understand? They need to be.  

  • They are available and accessible. It’s frustrating to leave a series of voicemails that are left ignored. Your Realtor is surely busy, but you can expect routine and consistent communication. A great Realtor will share communication expectations and processes ahead of time, before you even begin a relationship. Make sure you can work with the way they communicate, whether that’s via typed messages, personal phone calls, or face-to-face meetings. 

Remember, you need a Realtor who doesn’t only communicate well with you, but with others, too. This is the person who will be talking to other agents and potential buyers and sellers on your behalf. Can they represent you well? 

Great Realtors are Great Negotiators 

Whether you’re buying a property or selling one, you’re going to need someone who can get you what you want. 

This is not a perfect world nor is it a perfect market, so you might not get the exact price you want. A Realtor with good negotiation skills will get you close. They’ll find ways to win that you might not have considered yourself. Maybe the price isn’t exactly where you want it, but did they throw in some extra perks and terms that will help you walk away in a stronger position? That’s a good Realtor. 

Negotiation skills are essential to any Realtor, as they play a pivotal role in ensuring that both buyers and sellers are satisfied with the outcome of the transaction. A great Realtor should be able to confidently negotiate on your behalf, providing you with the best possible outcome. Good negotiation skills can mean a better deal for you and more profit on your investment, whether you’re buying or selling. 

Real estate investors understand the necessity of good negotiation. The ultimate return you earn on your investment depends on the right purchase price, the right inspection results, and the ability of your Realtor to close a deal that will help you rent out a fantastic property. 

Aligning Your Investment Goals and Personal Needs 

Buying HomeAre you buying your first home? Look for a Realtor who can connect with that experience and provide you with a hands-on plan for walking you through the process and showing you some great potential homes. 

Are you an investor hoping to grow your portfolio or diversify into a new asset class or area? Work with a Realtor who understands your entire portfolio, your plans for property management, and your investment goals. 

Your real estate investment goals are unique to you, and a great Realtor should respect that. They should always prioritize what you’re trying to achieve. A great Realtor will take the time to understand your long-term and short-term investment goals, ensuring that your real estate transaction aligns with your overall investment strategy.

Realtors who are generalists can be a great asset. They know a lot about the market as a whole and they can point you in the right direction if you’re not sure of where you’re going and what you want. However, if you already have specific ideas of what you need and want, we strongly encourage you to work with a Realtor who specializes in what you need. That’s going to move the process along faster, and produce better results. 

When it comes to buying, selling, or investing in property, working with a great Realtor is essential. They can help you navigate the complex process of buying and selling property, provide expert advice and negotiation skills, and ensure you get the best possible outcome. By looking for experience and professionalism, checking their reputation, prioritizing communication skills, noting their negotiation skills, and ensuring they understand your unique investment goals, you can spot a great Realtor and make a sound investment.

Let us help. We’ve been in this market for a while, helping buyers, sellers, and investors. Contact our team at Property Services of Atlanta.