Buying or selling a home can be a daunting process, but it can also be a very personal experience too. It’s important to find a real estate agent who isn’t just competent, but empathetic, supportive, knowledgeable, and understands your needs as if they were their own. From the very first conversation to narrowing down your priorities and touring open houses to ironing out the contingencies, it’s important that you and your agent have a solid relationship, because they better that they understand you, the better they can do their job. So, in an area like Santa Cruz, how do you decide which real estate agent will best represent you?
Here are some tips and questions you can ask that will help you find an agent that’s reliable, competent, and reputable, so that you have the best buying or selling experience possible.
Is The Agent Certified?
Before you even discuss the real estate market, is the agent a registered member of the local real estate board, and do they have their real estate license. Buying a home is no small investment, if you’re selling, you want to ensure you’re going to make the full value of the home. Those who are certified have done extensive training and held under strict professional guidelines by their respective board.
Even if an agent says they’re certified, it never hurts to follow up with the board to make sure that the agent is in good standing and to see if they’ve had any complaints in the past. Your home is a considerable investment, so it’s definitely worth it to do your homework.
Review Their Track Record
Awards granted by their team, brokerage, and board, are worth noting. This typically means that the agent has been endorsed by their peers based on their sales data and reputation. This can speak volumes about their work ethic, and shows that their respected amongst their peers.
Find Out How Long They’ve Worked For In Santa Cruz
Ask the agent how long they’ve worked in the area for. If it hasn’t been more than a handful of years, chances are they’re still learning about the local market. It’s important to find someone who’s a stakeholder in the community, meaning they have been here for several years and can tell you all about it. This opens up the opportunity for a genuine conversation about what’s great about some neighborhoods, and maybe less desirable about others, which is especially important if you’re not familiar with the area. (Not that Santa Cruz has many areas to be concerned with!) Plus, they can identify which areas have a consistent reputation for increasing or decreasing property values.
Search For The Agent Online & Review Their Digital Reputation
Track down the agent online to find them on Facebook, Google+, and Yelp. All of these platforms offer places to leave a review, so you can see what others are saying about the agent. Generally, the more reviews, the better.
One of the best ways to get to know a real estate agent better is to read the About page on their website and follow them on social media.
Ask Your Friends and Family
Do you know anyone who’s bought or sold a home recently? Chat them up to find out more about their experience.
Buying or selling a home is a great commitment. No one understands that better than Lauren Spencer, a trusted Santa Cruz REALTOR with over 30 years of experience in this beautiful county. Find out more about Lauren’s experience, read her testimonials, or give her a call to arrange a meeting.