How To Choose Your South Jersey Real Estate Agent

Dated: 09/05/2013

Views: 6306

You could choose a real estate agent by simply going online or looking in a local South Jersey directory and randomly picking a name that you like.  Though this option is simple, it is certainly not in your best interest.  You need to do some real work before you decide who you want to work with for your all-important real estate transaction.   

Here are some things that you need to do before you make this decision:  
  • Check on the licensing of any real estate agent you are considering working with.  States have a board that licenses and disciplines the real estate agents in their state.  Check to be sure that the person is licensed and has not had any complaints or disciplinary actions filed against them.
  • Look for a certified “Realtor”.  Many people believe that a Realtor and a real estate agent is the same thing.  The fact is that real estate agents with the title “Realtor” after their name are a member of the National Association of Realtors. Realtors have more industry credibility because they must pass certain eligibility tests, abide by a strict code of ethics and participate in annual extended education courses to belong to this group.
  • Use a Realtor for access to the Multiple Listing Search (MLS) database, which is the world’s largest listing of properties for sale.  Only certified Realtors have access to this information. 
  • Talk to recent clients.  Ask the Realtor for a list of what they have listed and sold in the past year, with contact information.  Ask the past clients what their asking price was and then what the sales price was. If you are a seller, ask if these properties are similar to yours in price, location and other features.  You want someone who specializes in the kind of property you are selling.  Another good question to ask is “How long was your home on the market?”
  • Real estate agents specialize and even generalists will get additional training in some areas. So designations after the name are an indication that the person has taken additional classes in a certain specialty of real estate sales. Here's what some of the designations mean:
    • CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
    • ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in a transaction.
    • SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
  • Ask about houses for sale nearby.  A good Realtor should know about the local listings “just off the top of their head”.  Ultimately you want someone who is actively engaged in the price range and location that you are looking for.
  • Ask for a marketing plan.  A good Realtor will know how to price your property correctly to attract the right buyer.  The Realtor will know who your target audience is, have a strategy for bringing out the curb appeal in your property and will present a plan to market your property using multiple media options.
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Sam Lepore

Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....

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