11477884125_392221a3a5One of the first steps in buying or selling a home is choosing a competent, reputable Real Estate Agent to represent you. Choose well and the Agent can help make your dreams come true by getting you top dollar for your house, in a timely manner, or by finding your dream home within your budget. Choose poorly and the experience can be frustrating, drawn out, and in some cases will end in cancelling the relationship and starting over.

How can you choose the right Realtor?

1. The best place to start is by asking friends and family for a referral. Just make sure they aren’t steering you to their friend who just got in the business because they’re trying to help them out. Ask what they liked about them. Make sure they have firsthand experience working with the Realtor they refer.

2. You want to work with someone who specializes in what your selling or buying. If you’re a first time buyer, you should look to work with someone who specializes in first time buyers. That agent will be more likely to take extra time to explain some of the nuances of buying your first home. They can help paint a picture of what you should expect to happen before, during, and after you purchase. The same goes for someone purchasing a luxury property. If you’re buying a high end beach house, you want someone who’s familiar with the high end beach market. They’ll know what to look for, what to expect and if the seller is asking too much for what you’re getting. This applies to seller’s too. You want an agent who is honest and knowledgeable and prices your house right to sell in a timely manner. Otherwise you may be waiting 6 months and still not sell. In both cases a good Realtor can save you tens of thousands with their knowledge of the market.

3. Look up potential agents at the local real estate board. In Charleston it’s the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (CTAR). You’ll find valuable information such as licenses an agent holds, or if there’s been disciplinary actions and complaints against them. Definitely good information to have before entering into a contract with your agent.

4. A good listener is key. A great Real Estate Agent takes the time to listen to your goals, wants and needs so they can be successful in finding you a special home that satisfies them. Otherwise you’ll be in the car visiting open houses weekend after weekend with no success. Who wants to do that?

5. Check out their website. Online marketing is a big part of buying and selling real estate these days. You want someone who has a good web presence and can efficiently implement web tools to buy or sell your home efficiently.

6. Check with your mortgage professional. A good mortgage professional will have a handful of top agents in the area and will direct you to the ones that specialize in exactly what you need.

Coastlend Mortgage is connected to a select group of the best agents in Charleston and surrounding communities like Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Summerville, Johns Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and more. If you would like a referral to one of the best agents in the Low Country, please let us know.

About the Author:
Eddie O’Neill is a mortgage expert with Coastlend Mortgage based in Charleston, SC. He has been a licensed professional since 2004, license # NMLS 251457, and has closed more than 750 home loans in his career. His attention to detail, commitment to quality and competitive lending has earned him the respect and praise from clients and colleagues alike. Please direct any questions to eddie@coastlendmortgage.com or 843-388-5763