Whether you own a home in or around Washington DC that you want to sell or you’re relocating to the area, the one thing that you can do to make your experience a better one involves finding the right realtor from the start. Here are five tips for finding the best realtor in DC to suit your unique needs and experiences.
#1 – Talk to Recent Clients
If you’re selling a home, talk to others who sold their homes recently. If you’re relocating, ask people online in public forums who they would recommend. These things are simple enough, but they can go a long way toward helping you avoid the bad apples. Once you’ve narrowed down the choices, be sure to talk to the realtor’s recent clients to better understand the processes and what you can expect.
#2 – Check Licenses and Actions Taken
Individual states – and Washington CD is no exception – license real estate agents and take disciplinary action against them when necessary. Because it is in the local area’s hands, it is also a matter of public record. It should be simple enough for you to look up each realtor you’re considering in order to find out whether they are properly licensed and whether they have been involved in any disciplinary actions in the past.
#3 – Make Sure They Know the Area
It’s important that the realtor you choose is familiar with the entire area whether you are buying or selling your home. The location is a deciding factor when it comes to things like asking price and selling points if you’re selling your home, and if you’re buying, it’s important that your realtor shows you homes that suit your wants and needs. If you ask for a particular school district, for example, the realtor should show you homes in that district’s area. If you have a specific budget, your realtor should work hard to help you stay within it.
#4 – Ask About Credentials
Credentialing is important in the real estate industry, and there are numerous prestigious credentials that you can consider. Some of these include Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and even Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). If the word “Realtor” is capitalized, then the agent is a member of the NAR, or National Association of Realtors. These are optional for real estate agents, but those who take the time to specialize in a certain area will often work hard to get the credential that applies to them. These individuals must take exams and prove their knowledge in order to receive the credential, too.
#5 – Check Out Current Listings
Finally, one of the best ways to get to know a real estate agent involves taking a look at his or her current listings. The way a home is presented to potential buyers says a lot about how much that agent truly cares about his or her clients, how creative he or she is, and the types of photographs and listings he or she is willing to create on your behalf (or show you, if you’re buying a home).
Choosing a DC realtor can seem daunting due to the sheer number of agents in the area. However, by following the five tips listed here, it’s possible to narrow down your choices and make the right one for your needs – whether you’re buying your first house in the area or you’re trying to sell.