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How to Find a Real Estate Agent

So, you’ve decided it’s time to buy or sell a home in Wilmington, North Carolina, and for good reason. Wilmington’s rich history, proximity to beaches and outdoor recreation, and hub for arts and entertainment make it an attractive place to live.

Whether you’re hoping to buy or sell a home in the greater Wilmington area, knowing how to find a real estate agent to help you close a deal quickly takes some research. Read on for expert advice to help you make a well-informed decision when teaming up with a professional agent.

Working with an experienced agent can help you navigate the complex and often confusing world of real estate transactions and legalities. Before you dive in, there are a few things you should know. Understanding the role of a real estate agent can help you make the most of your consultation and ensure a successful outcome.

The difference between a real estate agent and a broker

The terms “real estate agent” and “broker” are often used interchangeably. While there is some overlap between the two, they are not the same. A real estate agent is someone who has taken the required courses and passed their state's licensing exam. They work under a licensed broker and can help clients buy, sell, or rent properties.

Brokers are also licensed but have taken additional courses and passed a more advanced exam. They can work independently, own a brokerage, and hire agents to work for them. Brokers can also handle more complex transactions and have more legal responsibilities.

In North Carolina, agents are required to have licensing in both areas. Obtaining both a real estate agent license and a broker license in North Carolina allows individuals to have a broader range of opportunities and responsibilities within the real estate industry. While agents can represent clients in real estate transactions, brokers have the authority to supervise and manage other agents, open their own brokerage, and engage in more complex real estate transactions.

Agents vs. Realtors

Both real estate agents and Realtors have the same foundational knowledge and skills to help their clients navigate the real estate process.

However, a Realtor is a National Association of Realtors (NAR) member. The NAR is a real estate organization that requires its members to comply with specific standards and ethics. This means that a Realtor has taken an extra step of professionalism and commitment to their work.

The difference between a buyer’s agent and a listing agent

A buyer's agent works exclusively with buyers, helping them find homes that meet their needs and budget. They have access to available properties on the market and can help you navigate the home-buying process, from making an offer to negotiating the terms of the contract.

On the other hand, a listing agent is hired by the seller to market and sell their property. They will hold open houses and show the property to potential buyers, and they can help the seller determine an accurate asking price. It is important to note that in some cases, a real estate agent may act as both a buyer's agent and a listing agent, but it is essential to clarify their role in the transaction.

How to find a real estate agent

From their experience and expertise to their communication skills and marketing strategies, here are some factors to consider when selecting the right real estate agent.

Why experience matters

Hiring an experienced real estate agent can make a huge difference in buying or selling a property. Real estate professionals with years of experience have witnessed the ups and downs of the market and know how to navigate through various situations.

An experienced agent can also give you sound advice on the best time to buy, sell, or invest. Plus, they have a vast network of contacts, from lenders to inspectors, and can refer you to the right people to ensure the process goes smoothly.

How a real estate assistant can help you

Many real estate agents have assistants who can streamline the buying or selling process. That includes helping with various tasks, such as scheduling appointments, coordinating property showings, handling paperwork, and answering questions about the process.

Reputation matters

The reviews a real estate agent receives from past clients say a lot about the quality of their services and the level of dedication you can expect. You can also check an agent’s social media pages, Google business listing, or real estate websites where an agent may have a profile.

Look for a buyer’s agent that will go above and beyond

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you will ever make, so working with the right agent is essential. A buyer's agent finds the perfect property and negotiates the best possible deals on your behalf. Below, we'll discuss how to find a real estate agent who can help you find the perfect home at a good price.

Finding homes in your price range

A skilled buyer’s agent will have a deep understanding of the local real estate market, including prices, trends, and inventory. They will also have access to a wide range of listings, many of which aren't available to the general public. They can use these resources to help you find homes that fit within your budget. Once you've found a home you're interested in, an expert real estate agent will help you negotiate with the seller for the best possible price.

Realistic expectations of buying a home

With a deep knowledge of housing supply and demand, a buyer’s agent can keep you in the loop on the availability of homes in your price range, the number of competing buyers currently looking, and the likelihood that a seller will receive multiple offers. A buyer’s agent can also help you set a realistic timeline for buying a home and closing a deal in your area.

Qualities to look for in a seller’s agent

If you're a seller, you want to partner with an agent who can help you accurately price your home, market it effectively, negotiate with buyers, and close the deal in a timely manner. Choosing among the vast number of seller agents in your area can be challenging.

Below, we'll take a closer look at how to find a real estate agent who can sell your home fast and for the highest profits.

Excellent marketing skills

A seller’s agent can help you reach potential buyers in many ways. For example, they can arrange for professional photos of your home, list it on popular real estate websites, leverage their connections to spread the word about your listing and showcase your property on social media.

Suggestions that can help raise your home’s value

Many real estate agents will recommend making certain upgrades or improvements before putting your home on the market. This is because making strategic improvements can increase the home's value and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Some common upgrades that real estate agents may suggest include remodeling the kitchen or bathroom, adding a fresh coat of paint, or improving the landscaping and curb appeal.

Realistic pricing

Choosing the right listing price for your home is essential if you want to sell quickly and get the most money possible. An agent will also take into account any special features of your home, such as a pool, a spacious backyard, or a finished basement, and adjust the price accordingly. They will also consider the current market conditions, including interest rates, job growth, and other economic indicators. If necessary, your agent may recommend getting an appraisal for a more accurate idea of your home's value.

Knowledge of comparable listings in your area

A seller’s agent can determine comparable listings in your area by running a comparative market analysis (CMA). A CMA involves analyzing data from recent home sales in your area that are similar to your property in terms of location, size, age, and other features.

An agent will gather data on recent home sales and active listings, looking at factors like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage of the property, and any special features or upgrades. They'll use this data to determine an approximate value for your home and advise you on how to price it competitively.

Consult with a team that brings knowledge and experience to the table

If you’re wondering how to find a real estate agent, look no further! Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Wilmington, The Waller Team will gladly assist you. Donna and Jeff Waller have the expertise and knowledge of the Wilmington real estate market to help you every step of the way. Additionally, if you're in the market to purchase or sell a property, consider exploring our listings for homes for sale in Wilmington to find your perfect match.

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