There are over 800 real estate agents in Bozeman and dozens of offices. That’s a lot of realtors for our small city. How does one possibly decide who to work with? Chances are you know someone who is an agent or have a friend of a friend who is one. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should work with them. When making the decision to buy or sell a home, it’s important to make sure you are working with the right person. You want an agent who is looking out for your best interest, is willing to answer your questions and will offer helpful advice throughout the personal process of buying or selling a home. Here are the top qualities to look for in a real estate agent.
This one is huge! If you can’t talk to your agent, they are not going to be able to help you. Having open lines of communication and an ongoing dialog with them can prevent frustration through the process. You need to be able to tell your agent what your wants and needs are. Real estate is a personal experience, you want someone who will listen (actually listen!) to you and is able to open up with you...even if they are telling you something you may not want to hear. Often you can tell on first impression if this person is someone you can communicate with, but if you are unsure ask previous clients. Word of mouth is huge in the real estate world, so talking to someone who has worked with the agent first hand should be able to give you some valuable information.
Knowledge of the market
Being able to communicate with your agent is big, but they also have to know the market. Especially in a real estate market like Bozeman where things are moving fast. An experienced agent has seen the market change over the years and can offer insight. They know how to properly price a home based on the current market and can advise you when it comes to putting an offer in on a home.
You have to be able to trust your agent. You want to know they are making decisions that are in your best interest. It's hard to know right when you meet someone what that trust level will be. Ask questions at your initial meeting and go with your gut feeling on this- it is more often than not, right!
Gone are the days of putting in an offer and a month later moving in. The real estate market can be tricky, problems are likely to arise and you want to have an agent who is willing to work through these obstacles with you. Your agent should be the expert in real estate and help make the process as smooth as possible. Often this takes someone who knows how to problem solve and not just give up on a deal when things get tough.
Real estate agents are independent contractors, they will work under a broker in an office but they are working for themselves. They don’t have a boss telling them how to do their job so they have to be self-motivated enough to get things done. Of course, a good real estate office will have a broker to guide them through the process and help troubleshoot problems, but the agent is essentially on their own and you want to know they can handle this.
Bonus-They are awesome at giving closing gifts
It’s good practice for a real estate agent to give their clients a nice closing gift. This doesn’t always happen and it’s certainly not something you will know until the end. These types of gifts can vary so consider it a bonus when you find an agent that gives a closing gift like this…