Contracting an experienced realtor in Oklahoma City for the buying or selling of your home is a big deal.
Since both purchasing and selling houses are major life events, you want to carefully consider who you choose to go through it with you; if there are problems, they can not only make for uncomfortable dealings, they can affect you financially, as well.
What should a smart consumer think about before taking the plunge and either listing a house or starting the shopping process? Here are a list of a few things to keep in mind when you start your search in Oklahoma City neighborhoods.
- Always go local – OKC. This can seem like a no-brainer—who looks for an out of state agent to buy or sell a home?—but a more specific way to phrase this would be, “Go micro-local”. In other words, choose an agent that has experience buying and selling in the Oklahoma City area where you live or hope to live. Regional markets have unique quirks all their own sometimes, and while it can be a fine choice to engage a realtor who is testing out a new area, or helping you find new digs in an up and coming development, be sure that you’re getting someone with experience in the surrounding markets, at least. You don’t want to bear the brunt of someone’s learning curve.
- Choose a professional. Again, sounds silly and a little obvious, but “professional” in this context should mean that the real estate agent is licensed by Oklahoma, and does this as a full time job—not something on the side. Some sources recommend five years or more of experience, which might be a good rule of thumb…but smaller agencies starting out with fewer clients can also mean that you get more attention, and today’s technological advances mean that you can sometimes accomplish more with less. (Also, “real estate agent” and “realtor” aren’t synonyms; a realtor is a real estate professional who is not only licensed to sell real estate but is also a member of the National Association of Realtors, and is bound to abide by a code of conduct that includes additional standards of practice).
- Ask for references. This shouldn’t be a problem, and should also assuage any doubts that limited experience may bring to your mind; if someone has only helped a handful of clients, but seems to be hitting all of the deals out of the park, then they may be a good bet. When you do contact references, don’t just get general details; ask if there were specific problems or challenges, and how the realtor responded. Twenty snag-free deals aren’t the same as five transactions where a real estate agent’s quick thinking and savvy may have saved the day.
- Like your agent. When you engage a real estate professional, you’re entering into a relationship. Depending on the market for your particular house, it could be a short term relationship, or it could be a long one…and going in with the mindset that it could take a while is helpful when judging your feelings about your realtor. If there are palpable personality conflicts, don’t ignore them with the thought that, “Well, it won’t be forever”—you should be able to deal comfortably with anyone you hire, and communication should be as smooth as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to be crazy about the agent you commit to do this sort of business with, or that you might not have to overlook small things, but don’t sign up with someone who makes your eyes roll every time you see their name pop up on your phone.
- Ask plenty of questions. In lieu of a background check, and in depth interviews with every single previous client (which few busy people have the time or inclination to do), you can always find out about a prospective realtor by simply asking them plenty of questions. “How long have you been in business?” “What’s the average turnaround time for your sales?” “What will this cost me, to sell this property?” (A very different question from “What’s your commission?”—sometimes realtors have additional options for you that might incur extra charges—always good to know about up front) “What types of properties/what areas do you work with?” “How will you communicate with me?” (An important piece of information, since gaps of a few hours can often mean a lot in terms of securing deals), and maybe something about specific obstacles they’ve faced…“How did you handle your last big challenge?” It’s a job interview. Don’t be afraid to question.
Although securing the right real estate agent or realtor for the purchase or sale of your home in the Oklahoma City housing market is a big deal, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Armed with a few directing thoughts and a couple of key questions, you can find the agent or agency that can help you make your home shift happen as smoothly as possible.
Contact OKC House Company today to find out more about how their experience and commitment can help you sell or buy your home.