Did you know that a typical realtor has about eight years of experience in the business? Learning how long they’ve been working is only one of the things you need to know about Seattle real estate agents before hiring them. If you need help finding a professional that can close the sale quickly, you’ve come to the right place.
Hiring a realtor is almost as important as hiring a Seattle moving company, so don’t look at it like just another thing on your relocation to-do list. Whatever your reason to move may be, an agent is there to help you find a home to your liking. They know everything about the community they work in, and they love seeing people move into their perfect dream house.
There Are Several Ways You Can Find a Professional Realtor Near You
Let’s say you’re living in Downtown Seattle, and you’re planning to move to one of the more affordable suburbs. Before you hire one of the Seattle moving companies, you’ll need to sell your old place and find someone to help you look for a new home. Since nobody is an expert on everything, and you’re not staying in the same neighborhood, you may have to hire at least two people for the job.
Fortunately, finding a real estate agent in Seattle is not that complicated. You only need to look in the right place. Usually, you can find plenty of professionals online on websites like Realtor and Zillow. If anybody sparks your interest, you can learn a lot by looking at their past listings, checking their reviews, and reaching out to their previous customers. Open houses are also an excellent way to meet a potential broker in your area.
Having the Firsthand Experience From Someone You Trust Can Be More Reliable Than Reviews
Knowing someone who has firsthand experience with Seattle realtors is incredibly valuable when you’re looking for one yourself. Before organizing a moving away party, try to meet with people you know who have used a realtor to buy or sell some property. If their impressions are positive, they may steer you where you need to go, but you need to make sure you’re on the same page. They might have used a realtor to find a home in one of the affordable Seattle suburbs, so you’ll still have to look elsewhere for someone to help you sell your Downtown place.
Contact and Interview at Least Three Seattle Real Estate Agents
When conducting your search for the right agent, you’ll need to contact and interview at least three different realtors. Take this very seriously and carefully plan a list of all the questions you’re going to ask each of the candidates:
- How long have you been in the business?
- What is your license number?
- How can you help me buy and sell a home in a specific market?
- Can I go through your standard contract?
- Are there any penalties if I cancel the agreement?
- What are your references?
These are only a few of the questions you should ask during the interview, but the overall process will help you spot the perfect person for the job. The video below has a few more questions you should ask during the interview.
Evaluate Their Work Experience and Credentials
Evaluating the realtor’s experience is a crucial part of the selection process. Since hundreds of thousands of your hard-earned dollars are at stake, you should try to get someone who has at least ten years of experience under their belt. This usually means that they’ve probably worked in both the best and the worst conditions. When buying a place, never go for someone who worked less than two years in the field, as you’ll just be their trial run. Selling a house is more complicated, so choose a realtor who’s been in the business for at least four years.
How Many Deals Do They Close per Year?
Years don’t mean much if the realtor closes less than a handful of listings annually. You’ll want a skilled negotiator who can close at least 35 deals a year or more than 90% of realtors in their respective markets. These high-volume realtors have excellent connections, often having access to homes that haven’t even hit the market.
Are They a Member of the National Association of Realtors?
If a broker calls himself a Realtor, that means that they’re a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and obligated to support its code of ethics. The code is based on furthering the clients’ best interests, so you can expect highly professional service from these individuals. Based on performance and specialization, a realtor may get several certifications from NAR, including:
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – This is the highest form of recognition, and it’s awarded only to the top-performing realtors.
- Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) – A professional who specializes in representing buyers in transactions.
- Accredited Seller Representative (ASR) – A professional who specializes in representing sellers in the transaction.
- Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) – A realtor with this designation specializes in serving both buyers and sellers aged 50 and over.
Did They Have Any Violations in the Past?
You can also check if you’re dealing with a professional realtor and look them up on the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Similar to how you would check if a moving company in Seattle is legitimate, the website allows you to see if their license is active and if there were violations since they got it. It’s also very easy to use, and you can search it by name, license type or number, or location.
Find Seattle Real Estate Agents Who Are Accurate at Pricing Houses
While a realtor may quickly close the deal, they also need to be accurate at pricing houses. This is measured by their sale-to-list ratio, which is fairly simple. Ask the realtor to get you the final sales price for some of their listings, and then divide it by the average asking price. The closer the number is to 100%, the more accurate they are. If you’re trying to sell a luxury house, know that a broker with a sale-to-list ratio of over 100% means that they consistently close deals above the asking price.
On the other hand, if you want to buy a place, you’ll want a realtor who consistently closes the deal below the asking price. For example, if you’re buying a house valued at $600,000 for a 95% sale-to-list ratio, you’ll be saving $30,000 in your moving expenses checklist. This is a pretty good deal, so if you can’t find any flaws with the place, it’s better not to push much below that.
Avoid Realtors With Significantly Higher Estimates and Lower Commissions
Unless you’re relocating to some of the top suburbs of Seattle, where prices do tend to be well above the city’s median value, it’s better to avoid hiring a broker with higher estimates. Most professionals have relatively similar prices, so if you find that someone is valuing your place significantly above the rest, you need to ask them what they based their estimate on. If the answer seems unconvincing, it’s better to hire another realtor than spend months looking for a buyer for an overpriced house. The situation is reversed for the realtor’s commissions, so if their services cost well below the average, chances are they are very inexperienced or a scammer.
The City Is a Big Place, So It’s Always Better to Get a Local Agent
While you can find all potential real estate agents in Seattle, Washington by simply searching a website, you want someone who already knows the community in and out. Local representatives likely already know who would be interested in buying your house, so check if a real estate agency in Seattle has an office in your area.
Good Local Realtors Know Everything About the Community They Serve in
With so many things to do in each Seattle neighborhood, you’ll need someone to guide you through your search for the perfect home. Fortunately, a good broker is always aware of all the amenities you can find in the community they serve, so you may want to ask them about:
- Schools – Unless you’re moving to one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle for families, you’ll want a place that has access to some excellent schools. With more than a few superb school districts in Seattle, the realtor should be able to tell which ones you have nearby.
- Commute – When picking a place to live, you’ll want to consider the time it takes to get around, especially if it’s in the suburbs. The agent should also state if you’ll have access to Seattle public transportation, as it’s often the easiest way to avoid traffic jams.
- Safety – The seller’s agent will never point out if the area is unsafe on their own. Unless you’re relocating to one of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle, you should learn if the location is secure after dark, but you’ll need to ask them directly.
- Parks – Since there’s an abundance of parks in Seattle, you likely won’t have any problems finding a park in any neighborhood. However, if you’re moving with pets, you’ll want to know if the place is close to some great dog parks in Seattle.
- Other amenities – Realtors are very aware of what makes a cool neighborhood in Seattle. They’ll always point out the abundance of restaurants, cafes, shopping malls in the community. Young adults may also learn if there are any bars or Seattle breweries in the vicinity.
Hire Someone You Like and Trust
After you check up all the candidates, you probably think you should hire the one with the top credentials. Well, not quite. While your pick should check all the boxes, it’s better to hire someone you feel comfortable working with. You don’t have to be best of friends, but there should be some form of mutual understanding and trust.
Hiring Friends Rarely End up Well
You may think that hiring friends is going to help you with the search, but you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice. While they may hold some good intentions towards you, friends and family have a biased perspective of your situation. The process itself will be more comfortable initially, but it quickly gets intense and rarely goes smoothly, even in the best cases. You’ll end up going through a lot more relocation stress, and the relationship might not even survive by the end of the transaction.
Hire Some Local Movers in Seattle, WA as Soon as You Find Your Realtor
With the help of this guide, finding a professional agent that’s just right for you is going to be significantly more straightforward. A good realtor usually works quickly, so if you want to hire some cheap movers in Seattle, you better start looking right away. Fortunately, you’ve already found one of the top moving companies in Seattle, WA. If you need any help with your move, Seattle Professional Movers is here to assist you.
Our local moving services in Seattle are very affordable, especially considering their quality. We have lots of experience with relocating large items, so you won’t have to worry about doing any hard labor yourself. If you don’t know how to pack fragile items, our packing service is just the thing you need. It covers everything, so you won’t even have to get moving boxes in Seattle. Whether you need a residential move or a commercial relocation, you won’t be able to find a better mover in Seattle. If you have any more questions, contact our Seattle movers, and start your move today.