What You Need to Know Before Contacting an Agent
Looking to invest in real estate, or need to find a property manager to handle renting out your second home? A real estate agent can help with those endeavors, and a lot more. For instance, experienced agents can help you buy and sell both commercial and residential properties, find the perfect rental space for your business, and even provide tenant representation as needed. Still, for all their knowledge, preparation on your part before you call them helps them to better assist you.
Know what you want or need – Looking for a vacation property? Narrow down the area, price range, and any must-haves like a swimming pool, close proximity to the beach, or a pet-friendly policy. Interested in finding a storefront for your startup business? The location is vital, so have a general idea of where you plan to start your business. Also, research rents for your area so there is no “sticker shock” and you will recognize a good deal when you see it. Are you a residential investor? Be prepared to give your agent some appropriate parameters for the type of properties you want to buy. For instance, areas, numbers of bedrooms and baths, whether you intend to fix and flip or use them for long-term rentals.
Have your financing lined up – The best deals in real estate go to those ready to make a move instantly. This means having your cash or financing lined up ahead of time. If you are an investor, you will want to have several sources – local bank or credit union, private mortgages, even hard money lenders for short-term loans on foreclosure and other fixer-upper type properties with potential.
Know the market – Researching the local market where you want to buy, sell, or rent will give you a general idea of the price ranges, the health of the market, and whether it is currently a “buyer” or “seller” market, which will dictate your negotiations as far as pricing and other material considerations. Far more lenient terms and steeper discounts exist in a buyer’s market, for instance, while the opposite is true in a tight, seller’s market area.
Scout for the best agent for you – Take your time and do some research on agents to find one that is well suited to your objectives. Ask for referrals from other investors at investor clubs, and you will get names of several hard-working agents. For property owners looking for management, ask for referrals from potential agents and give them a call. You can also check online reviews, and don’t forget to look at their social profiles and how they respond to customers and prospects.
A little preparation ahead of time ensures that all of your buying, selling, or leasing deals go through smoothly and quickly with the assistance of the right information and agent.
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