Choosing The Right Washington DC Real Estate Agent
Whether you are purchasing your dream home or your next investment property in Washington DC, having the right estate agent in your corner can make a big difference. You see, buying or renting a property isn’t like getting a cup of coffee. Some real estate agents only have their eyes on the commission and will hide certain details in order to make a quick sale.
I have been in the real estate business for a long time, and fortunately such agents don’t last. The market has a way of ejecting them. I decided to write this article in order to show you how to spot the wrong real estate agents, and the traits present in every good real estate agent. In brief, I am drawing on my experience to show you how to find the good apples among the rotten.
It is vital that you real estate agent has a license. Although this is rare, it is worth checking. This is because the license requires the passing of certain exams and a background check. As a result, licensed agents are more likely to be credible individuals. Moreover, fear of losing their license encourages them to follow ethics. Check with the District of Columbia Real Estate Commission. It will also list out any complaints against the Realtor.
Secondly, real estate agents that are members of groups, companies, or even have an award under their belt are more credible. Moreover, the aforementioned show a dedication to their craft, and a dedication to serving clients.
Thirdly, due to the nature of the real estate business, generally speaking, agents with many years of experience are better than newcomers. Saying that, experience isn’t the overriding factor. When deciding between two Realtors, their years within the industry could influence your decision.
Finally, professionalism is a big part of being a good real estate agent. Therefore, you should take a look at how they present themselves online. A good Realtor will make an effort to design a good website and have useful information on it. The kind of content they have on their website also gives you a good idea as to what you can expect from them.
For instance, I launched this website to provide good information to potential clients or anyone interested in buying a home in the Washington DC area. It took a lot of time and effort, but I enjoy maintaining it because it helps me to serve my clients better.
Here is a horrifying story I would like to share with you. I heard through the grapevine that a homeowner got stuck with a faulty roof which took $60,000 to fix. The homeowner’s real estate agent knew that the roof had a problem, and persuaded the buyer not to get a thorough roof inspection. However, if she had contacted her local real estate authority she would have known that the Realtor had many complaints against them. She was left with a $60,000 bill, and the worst part was that she was expecting a baby and the property was supposed to be their family home.
Every real estate market is different, and a good real estate agent is constantly keeping up with the trends, networking and asking questions. Therefore, they are able to guide you through the market, and
if you are an investor, tell you the markets and communities that are on the rise. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy a home in Washington DC, they would be able to find you the best house for your budget and requirements.
This level of knowledge can only come through specializing in an area, and commitment. Therefore, you should ask probing questions, even if you know the answer. A competent real estate agent knows their service area like the back of their hand.
Here are some questions you could ask:
1) What is the average rental yield in this area?
2) Roughly how many homes were sold in this area?
3) Is this a growth area?
4) What are the best locations in this city for a family?
5) Are there any interesting trends I should be aware of?
6) Which area would you recommend for my price range?
7) Are there any upcoming developments in this area?
Knowledge is power in real estate, and this is something a Realtor can use in order to guide you through the market. If they hesitate when answering the questions above, they are just trying to make the sale and don’t have your best interest at heart. Shake their hand and get someone else. Remember, there are many Realtors out there, and you don’t have to settle for less.
Choosing the right real estate agent to sell your home in Washington DC
All Realtors aren’t created equal. Therefore, some are better at selling property while others are better at helping you to make the right purchase. As a result, there are different criteria you should look out for based on your needs.
Some Realtors are so well-connected that they know many investors, and can reach out to other agents in order to find the right buyer quickly. Therefore, they can arrange more viewings of your property, and get you a great offer. Basically, they are slick, well-connected and master negotiators.
For instance, I spend a lot of time networking, learning the latest marketing strategies and generally trying to be the best Realtor I can be. As a result, when a client reaches out for my services, I am able to bring all my knowledge and connections together for a big, some would say unfair advantage.
Selling a home is an art and a science. Therefore, a good Realtor isn’t just looking to offload the property and scamper with the commission. They present the property in the best possible light, provide a potential buyer with accurate information, and then arrange a deal which leaves all parties happy.
Taking the above into account, top Realtors in Washington DC are also master marketers. They take great pictures, know how to write property descriptions which leaves a potential buyer salivating. Moreover, they “hustle” your property. Getting the right buyer becomes a key priority.
For example, when a client approaches me to sell their property, I take the time to carry out research, take the right pictures and write excellent product descriptions. Plus, I leverage my knowledge and experience to sell their home and fetch a great offer.
Unfortunately, some Realtors in DC don’t go the extra mile. Properties spend longer than the average on their books, and some are even forgotten about. Some wait for a buyer to drop down from the clouds… check in hand. Hopefully you never end up with such a real estate agent. Your Realtor should be willing to take every ethical and legal means to get your property sold at a price you are happy with.
One of the best ways to check the marketing ability of a Realtor is to take a look at their website – if they have one. The attention to detail they pay to their online presence will give you a good idea as to how much attention they will pay to listing your property.
Moreover, you should ask your Realtor how they plan on marketing your home. They should be able to provide you with their marketing strategy. You should pay close attention to whether they can do things which you wouldn’t be able to do on your own. For instance, more houses are now sold via online marketing methods. Unfortunately, some Realtors don’t learn online marketing skills and are stuck in the past. As a result, they aren’t using every opportunity to enable you to sell or acquire an ideal property. Don’t get left behind by a misinformed Realtor, get in touch and see what I can do for you.
The worst type of Realtor you can get is one which says “yes” to everything even when they know that it isn’t in your best interest. They can overlook certain things which make it very difficult to get your property sold.
Personally, I like to be as upfront with clients as possible. If making some simple renovations and decor changes would make a difference, I let my clients know. Plus if they are about to do something which would jeopardize the sale of a property, I let them know. I like to think of the client Realtor relationship as a partnership, and I have the best interests of my clients at heart.
4) Easy to reach
Some Realtors make the mistake of getting as many properties on their books as possible. However, this makes it a challenge to dedicate enough time to each client. Moreover, it is important that you keep your Realtor updated with any changes made to the property. Moreover, you need someone who doesn’t ignore your calls.
Choosing the right Realtor to help you acquire a property in Washington DC
The property market can be incredibly exciting. Getting the right property could make a big difference to your family, or if you are an investor, enable you to add the right property to your portfolio.
Everyone has something unique they are on the lookout for. Some want a property in a quiet area, while others want to be in the middle of the action. Some want a large, luxurious property, while others want something simple and on the smaller side. An investor might want to get a property below its real value and with a high rental yield which is set to grow in the future. My job is to get you a property which fits your specifications so well that it feels as if it was made just for you.
Which traits should you look for when leveraging a Realtor’s knowledge and experience to acquire a property in Washington DC?
Firstly, they need to be completely honest with you. Some will try to pressure you into buying a home which doesn’t fit your specifications because they have a business relationship with the property owner. This isn’t how I work. I know that a property can be a life long investment. It wouldn’t feel right to know that I allowed someone to make the wrong choice.
Secondly, your Realtor should have great connections within the Washington DC real estate market. For instance, I sometimes reach out to other Realtors in order to find out more about certain properties. This gives me extra information to work with which I can relay to clients. As a result, they can make better decisions regarding which properties are worth viewing.
Thirdly, your Realtor should have your best interests at heart. I feel a burst of happiness when I am able to show a client the property of their dreams. There is something very rewarding about giving them exactly what they want. Such moments can be very emotional. Some clients shed tears. I believe that there is a property out there for everyone.
A Realtor helping you to acquire a home in Washington DC should also be very good with numbers. For instance, they should be able to tell you the best areas for investing in property and why. Some clients are looking to buy a home and stay in it for a few years before upgrading. If that is you, it is important that you know whether the area is “hot” or “cold”. You don’t want to be stuck with a property that is incredibly difficult to sell.
Additionally, a good Realtor will be able to conduct research, spot the trends and advise you accordingly.
Finally, you should take a look at the properties a real estate agent has helped their clients acquire. This is to ensure that they are the right fit for your needs. For instance, a Realtor who has a history of selling mid market properties might not be the best for helping you to acquire a multi-million dollar luxury home. This is because these two markets are very different.
1) Fortunately, Realtors tend to leave a trail of information online. Therefore, it is worth typing their name into Google and checking out the reviews they have. Moreover, if they work for a company, check the reputation of the company. If you find any issues, feel free to ask the Realtor about it. This is because some negative reviews are caused by events which are blown out of proportion. Saying that, be concerned if your Realtor doesn’t have a good reason for receiving a negative review.
2) If the Realtor was recommended to you by a friend or relative, ask them to explain the experience they had. Moreover, if possible, you should take to their recent clients. This enables you to find out whether the Realtor’s way of working aligns with your objectives. These are some things you should look out for:
– How long did it take them to find the right home?
– Did they communicate with the client on a regular basis?
– Were they polite?
– Did they pay close attention to the needs of their client?
It is important that you fully understand the contractual agreement you have with a Realtor. Each real estate agent creates terms and conditions which suit them. Therefore, you should get a good understanding about cancellation terms, commissions, and additional fees. Moreover, it gives you a good idea as to the mindset of the real estate agent. For instance, a real estate agent with a very low commission percentage doesn’t know their worth and might be very rash with decisions. They might be keen to get their commission and move onto the next person.
On the other hand, a Realtor who charges the standard commission percentage will take the time to carry out their work, and leave all parties happy with the transaction.
Prior to signing on the dotted line, here are some questions you should ask?
1) Aside from your commission, are there any other fees I should be aware of?
2) What is your cancellation clause?
3) Do I get a ‘cooling-off’ period?
4) Are you sure that you have enough time to help me?
In conclusion, I hope that you found this post useful. I am a real estate agent serving the Washington DC area. I have dedicated a lot of time and effort into networking and keeping up with the area in order to serve my clients best. If you want a Realtor who has your best interests at heart, feel free to get in touch for an initial consultation. This enables us to see whether we are a good fit.
If you would like to buy a home in the Washington DC area, just fill in this short form. On the other hand, if you would like to sell a property, just submit this form. After doing so, I will get back to you. Feel free to leverage my knowledge and experience for your real estate needs. I can be reached at [email protected] or by phone at 202-270-8256.