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How to find the right realtor for you

Bryan Cohen

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Bryan Cohen
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Tel 914.954.7966

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How to find the right realtor for you

How to find the right realtor for you

There are thousands of brokers out there, some with the same listings and who offer different prices, but how do you find the right real estate agent for you?

Brokers typically don't work all areas of a particular town or city, the specialize in particular areas and particular types of realty. Some brokers specialize in one or more areas, such as Midtown East, Murray Hill and Gramercy, and these brokers will know everything there is to know about these areas, from the managements that operate in the areas, to the typical prices for different types of apartments, to the typical age group that lives there. Some brokers specialize further to to only work with studios, 1 bedrooms, 2 bedrooms, etc or a combination there of. Commercial specialize too into particular areas and types of properties they work with whether it be retail, offices, industrial, building sales, ground leases, etc or once again a combination there of. There are some brokers that do both that are very good, but typically they specialize in one or the other.

Here are 10 tips to help you in the process.

1. Go with a pro:
You want somebody that is a full time agent who knows the area you want to    in and the type of real estate you want. An agent who has access to all the          listings in the area. There are agents that will look on the internet and call up     other agents for listings that are available to many other agents. This results       you paying a higher fee when you don't need to and not seeing all the                 apartments you should be. 

2. Experience counts:
Do you want an agent that just finished real estate school or an agent with experience that knows the areas you want to live in. These agents also have experience with managements and owners and have developed relationships with these people and know the application process and how to avoid and handle problems during the process.

3. Get referrals:

Friends and family can be a great source of information. There is a good chance they've been through this process before with good and bad agents and can give you the number a real estate agent they have worked with before and had good experiences with.

4. Think area:

When you are looking for a realtor, you want to use a realtor that specializes in the areas you want to live. They know the best deals, the managements, the age group that lives in the area, access to transportation and any other questions you may have.

5. Use the right type of realtor:

This is a key. The right type of realtor can take a hard process and make it easy. If you want to rent, buy or sell a home, you need a residential broker. If you want to buy or sell a home, you want an agent sales experience and if you are looking to rent a home, you want a realtor with rental experience.

If you are looking to rent an office, a retail space, a warehouse plots of land, buy or sell a building, etc, you need an agent that specializes in commercial properties.

6. Choose someone who will listen and understand:

This part is simple, do you want a broker that show you any type of home in your price range or do you want a broker that will listen and understand what your needs and wants are. You might have a max budget of $3000, but you really only want to spend $2500. Will the broker only show you places at the top of your budget or will he show you places around what you want to spend? It is not just price, it is if you are looking for a dishwasher or only up to a 3rd floor walk up or a bedroom big enough to fit your queen size bed or any of your wants or needs. Sometimes this can not fit in your budget, but this is where working with a good broker comes in handy. He or she can tell you if all of your wants and needs are realistic in your budget, and then find as many of the items on your list of wants and needs as they can. Sometimes what you want changes once you go out with them to see potential homes. Having a broker that listens to you and and understand that what you want changed, will help you make a potentially hard and long process an easy and short one.

7. Choose an agent who with think like the buyer, renter or seller:

Who wants a broker that only cares about the money. That to them you are another pay check and wants to get the process with as fast as possible to get paid and move onto the next "client"? NOBODY. Wouldn't you like a broker that cares about their clients and be able to put themselves into your shoes? Someone that treats it as if it was their own money, as if they could see themselves and their clients living there. A broker that learns about you and listens and sees what you want.

8. Keep your eye out for conflicts of interest:

If you find an agent that only shows you their listings, that should raise a big RED FLAG. An agent should show you all listings that they think would be good for you and not just theirs. When they only show their listings, it shows that they do not have your best interest.

9. Look for a personality match:

This is a big one. You might have found a great agent with great referrals and lots of experience, BUT, MAYBE, he or she is too serious, not serious enough for some reason you do not connect with them. How will the process be, you need somebody that you connect with, that you can talk to and they can see what your thinking beyond what you tell them about your apartment. A broker that is a personality match with you can make the process a lot more enjoyable.

10. Trust your gut:

Beyond anything else I have posted above, most of all, trust your gut. If your gut is telling you it is not right, it most likely IS NOT RIGHT. You know yourself better than anybody else and know who's right for you and who isn't.

You don't need a realtor, but you do