Choosing a Real Estate Agent

If you are buying a home one of the largest decisions you are going to make is which Real Estate Agent you are going to work with.  For a first time homebuyer maybe you wrote a post on Facebook and lots of agents started messaging you or maybe you started searching on Trulia, Zillow, or Realtor.com and wanted more information on a house that was for sale and were called by agent.  Below are a few things to consider when choosing a real estate agent.

Not All Agents are Realtor’s ®

The term Realtor® is similar to the word Kleenex®.  Lots of tissue paper gets called Kleenex®, when in fact Kleenex® is just one of many brands of tissue paper.  For Real Estate Agents in the State of Wisconsin we take a Real Estate Salesperson course.  Once we pass the course and state exam we become Real Estate Agents or Salespeople.  In order to become and use the term Realtor® a salesperson is required to attend mandatory training provided by the Wisconsin Realtor’s Association (WRA) and join the Wisconsin Realtor’s Association, National Association of Realtors, agree to uphold the highest of standards in our profession, and agree to the Realtor® code of Ethics.  In order to verify if an agent is a Realtor® you can go to the Wisconsin Realtor’s Association website at www.WRA.org and search by name.

How to choose a Real Estate Agent

-Talk with Recent Clients You can ask the agents for references of past clients or can search for reviews past clients have given them.  Talking with past clients and reading reviews will allow you see how the agent conducts business, how they handle sticky situations, and how the process overall went for the buyers or sellers.   Our reviews can be found on our website (Testimonials) and also on Trulia (Search John Reuter)

Check Licensing The Wisconsin Realtor’s Association has made this easy.  You can go to www.WRA.org and search by name.  This will tell you the agents name, number, company, and more information.

Research how long the agent been in the business  Ask the agent how long they have been doing real estate and what type of experience they have.  Just because an agent has been in the business 5 years does not necessarily mean they have a lot of experience.  An agent who has been in for less than a year with 10 or 15 closed transactions may actually have more experience.

What can the agent offer you? All real estate agents can show properties and write contracts, but you do not just want an agent that can show you properties and write contracts.  You want an agent that you can trust, depend on, who is going to have you back, and is going to fight for you.  In addition, some agents offer special programs and incentives.  For our team we give 25 percent off of our commission to teachers, military, police officers, firefighters, and medical professionals.  This helps reduce the amount they have to being when they close on their home.  (The average person saves over $2500).  For more information visit www.wiheroes.com   We want to make that after your transaction closes you feel confident, secure, and protected.  For all buyers we offer a FREE 1 Year Home Warranty.

Real Estate Agents vs. Attorneys

Some states require attorneys for real estate transactions.  In the State of Wisconsin real estate agents are given limited attorney powers which allow us to draft and sign contracts.  Not sure if you should hire a real estate attorney or real estate agent?  When purchasing a home in the Buyers Agency Agreement (BA) which makes you a client of the agent you can select to allow the agent’s companies commission to be paid from the sellers funds at closing.  This is the norm in our area.  Although they are getting paid from the seller, their duties and responsibilities are to you as their client(s).  In the BA it outlines the duties agents have to all parties and to their clients.  The Real Estate agent is also the expert in the areas they work and will help you locate a property, write purchase contracts, put in place contingencies to protect you as the buyer, negotiate, attend inspections, and will make sure the transaction goes smooth and gets to closings.  A Real Estate Attorney which is often paid for by the buyer can require a minimum fee up front and gets paid on a per hour basis.

Some things go without saying…   Make sure you and your agents personality mesh and that you can trust and depend on them to get the job done.  All of the things above will get you moving in the right direction when choosing a Realtor®.

Feel free to contact us for more information john@thereuterteam.com or 608-669-4226

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