How to spot the best real estate agent in Alexandria

If you are buying or selling Real Estate your FIRST TASK is to find the best real estate Agent

Also in Buying a house in Alexandria – Overview
A top agent will save you a LOT of TIME and MONEY or net more MONEY when selling !  Although looking for that person it might feel like looking for that Golden Nugget !

You  might be tempted to go with the one that advertises money back for the same type of work, just remember the old adage “YOU GET what you PAY FOR” and there are “NO FREE LUNCHES”.   Would you trust an agent to give you their undivided attention with one of the most important decisions of your life when their main advertising gimmick is “we give you a discount” when it should be, “We will work to get you the best terms and net you the most money”???  Hmmm , You should ask yourself what type of service will they actually deliver …

With so much information on the internet it is understandable to believe you can find all relevant and current information yourself. Before becoming a real estate agent I did not understand what the job entailed and thought real estate agents only showed houses and put together contracts. If I thougtht that way I can only image a lot of people probably still think the same way. Was I wrong!

These erroneous perceptions are due in part to the lack of complete information from real estate associations when educating the public which allows not so flattering stereotypes of our profession to persist.

Finding the right home and putting together and offer are very important but they are not the only tasks.

The best real estate agent will help you find the best home in Alexandria not just by sending you daily emails of properties that fit your criteria, but also touring weekly Broker’s open houses and asking fellow agents if they know of so far “not yet listed” new offerings coming to the Multiply Listing Service (MLS) , and even  knocking on people’s doors asking those owners if they are considering selling their house soon.

A top real estate agent understands YOU are the client and she will be looking out FOR YOU every step of the way to SAVE you TIME and MONEY.  Looking online at different web sites is not only confusing but also deceiving. The big portals like Zillow, Trulia etc only receive information FROM the MLS and DO NOT generate any primary information , they just pass that information onto YOU the final user in different formats. Most of the time that information is OUTDATED and sometimes incomplete or inaccurate, creating only confusion for you, the end user.

Don’t relay on agents that ONLY send you automated emails who do not attempt to meet you first.

A simple one on one, face to face meeting with an agent will save you SOOO much time. In our initial interview we can find out exactly what you are looking for and give you possible areas that might fit your criteria, we can help you consider lending options and guide you with overall planning. The truth is, you DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. A short series of questions will not only help your agent target areas and features but will help you as well by answering all those nagging questions you might have had or didn’t even know you needed to ask.

A checklist of things to look for in the best agent for you when you are BUYING:
• What is the agent’s reputation? Check testimonials and their online presence. What does their website look like? do they have a Facebook business page? are they on Twitter or any other social media venue?
• How long has she lived in the area? Does she provide customized market reports for those zip codes?
• Has she asked you to meet and review your goals?
• Has the agent taken the time to explain the entire buying/selling process from beginning to end?
• Has the agent answered all your questions to YOUR SATISFACTION?

Checklist of things to look for in the best agent for you when you are SELLING:
• What is the agent’s reputation? Check testimonials and their online presence. What does their website look like? do they have a Facebook business page? are they on Twitter or any other social media venue?
• Ask yourself what do I need this agent to help me with? Marketing?  Market Knowledge and Negotiations?
• Check their credentials. Are they Certified by the Industry bodies that hold those certifications? For example, a lot of agents call themselves Luxury Agents and might have signs that say so, But have they actually EARNED that designation? Some might go as far as say they are expert negotiators, but have they gone through the Learning and Certification process associated with that skill from the Negotiations Instuitute
• Close to 90% of buyers start their search for their new home online. Does your agent know Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and can she bring your Home’s page to Page One in Google?
These are jut a few of the questions you should be asking.

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Patricia S Harris
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