Choosing a real estate agent involves many things, from researching the agency’s sales volume and experience to determining their willingness to communicate on your terms. However, it’s also important to think about the local area and which agent or agency can best suit your needs. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing an agency in the Washington DC area.
Is the Agent or Agency Credible?
The DC-area real estate market is a complex one, and that means you will need someone who knows what he or she is up against. Credibility is everything in this case, and fortunately, it’s easy for you to research, too. First, make sure your agent is properly licensed, and be sure to check the District of Columbia Real Estate Commission’s website to see if there are any outstanding complaints. See which groups the agency or agent belongs to, and make sure that the company or agent is well known in the area for providing excellent service.
Do They Know the Area Well?
The best real estate agent is someone who is incredibly familiar with the local area, as well. Real estate markets change from state to state and even from city to city, so finding someone who knows the ins and outs of the local market will serve you well. You could ask questions to determine your agent’s knowledge. Some good examples include:
- How many homes have been sold in this neighborhood in the last year?
- Is this city or neighborhood still growing?
- If my budget is XYZ, which are would you recommend?
- Are there any developments planned for this side of town or area?
- What kind of family-friendly activities are close to this particular neighborhood?
If your agent can answer these questions, he or she is familiar with the area and is likely to serve you well.
What Kind of Advice Do They Offer?
Whether you’re buying your first home or selling your third, things change in the real estate industry every single day, and unless you’re active in it, you may never know. Your agent should work for you, and this means he or she should offer valuable advice at every step of the way. For example, if you are relocating from across the country and you know nothing of the area, your agent should be able to point you in the right direction based on a few simple questions. What’s more, your agent should also be able to provide you with information about average home prices in a neighborhood, the average mortgage payment in an area, and more to make buying or selling simpler.
How Do They Communicate?
Finally, in today’s day and age, communication is a key factor to consider when choosing a real estate agent. You should look for someone who will stay in contact with you at least once every few days to clue you in on new listings, potential buyers, or information that you can use to your advantage. Again, a real estate agent works for you. His or her paycheck depends on helping you buy or sell a home, and your agent can’t do that without communication. Read reviews online and learn as much as you can about others’ experiences before making a decision.
Choosing a real estate agency in the DC area can be challenging, especially for those who are new to the area. There are hundreds of agents and companies from which to choose, but the information above will help you make the right decision for your unique needs.