The Characteristics of a good real estate agent
When buying or selling real estate in Ashland and other Oregon communities, it all boils down to the caliber of your agent. Your representative can make or break the transaction, so it’s important to work with the right one.
Here’s what to look for when choosing a real estate agent in Ashland.
Needless to say, when working with an agent, you have to make sure that they are authorized to handle real estate transactions in your area.
In order to become an agent in Oregon, individuals must at least:
- Be 18 years of age
- Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent (i.e. GED)
- Have an eLicense account
The state also requires aspiring agents to take over 150 hours of broker pre- licensing education at recognized institution, which includes:
- 30 hours of real estate law
- 30 hours of real estate finance
- 30 hours of real estate practice
- 20 hours in brokerage
- 15 hours in real estate agency
- 15 hours in real estate contracts
- 10 hours in property management
Moreover, aspiring agents are required to:
- Complete and pass the Oregon Real Estate Exam
- Pass a thorough background check
- Work under the guidance of a principal broker
When applicants fulfill these requirements, they will receive their broker’s license.
While it’s important for your agent to have basic qualifications, there’s something else they need in order to become effective at their job.
Keep an eye out for the following qualities when screening agents in Ashland:
Qualities of a great Realtor
They have integrity. You will want to hire an agent who has strong principles.
This means someone who is honest and ethical in all their dealings. Great agents follow through with their promises. If they say that they’ll have your listing up by this date, they make it happen. If they say that they will personally oversee all your open house viewings, they do it.
The last thing you want to do is work with an unscrupulous agent who is only after the commission, or who makes all sorts of excuses to cover up their inadequacies.
Unfortunately, there’s no objective measure for an agent’s integrity. But what you can do is read reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Find out what people have to say about their work.
Reviews and testimonials are more than just social proof – they shine a light on an agent’s track record. While sales volume speaks for itself, online reviews offer a more subjective view on the agent’s work style, attitude, and more.
And once you start working with an agent, their actions should be a good gauge of personal integrity. Ideally, their behavior should be consistent with their words.
If they claim to value honesty, only to find out that they had been keeping information pertinent to the transaction a secret from you, you should take it as a red flag.
They make themselves available. Real estate never sleeps. That’s why an agent should make themselves fully available to you and other relevant parties at all times. Be cautious about hiring an agent who is only doing real estate part- time – they may be unable to juggle you with graduate studies, business, and other jobs on the side.
The same goes for an agent who is representing other clients, or who is acting as a dual agent, which in real estate parlance means they’re representing both parties in the transaction. An agent with multiple clients, or several high profile transactions, might be spreading themselves too thin. Dual agency, one of the thornier issues in real estate, can bring about a conflict of interest. Since agents work on commission, they will be partial towards helping the seller get the best possible price for the property – at your expense.
To avoid these problems down the road, find a full-time agent who can devote their time and energy to you.
They’re communicative. A breakdown in communications can be disastrous for a real estate transaction – with so much at stake, something as simple as a late email response, unanswered phone call, or unread text message can cause the deal to fall through. That’s why an agent should keep their lines open and be quick to respond to all messages.
They’re a self-starter. Successful agents generate their own business instead of waiting for someone to give them work to do. That’s why they need self- motivation to survive in the industry. Your agent should take the initiative in the transaction – they should be proactive about attracting offers, finding listings, or keeping you informed of any developments.
They have strong negotiation skills. Your agent should serve as your advocate throughout the transaction. That means protecting your interests so that you don’t get the short end of the stick. A great agent knows when to compromise and when to take a hard line. They know when to push and when to give way. Negotiation is a delicate art, and it takes an intelligent agent to master it.
They’re transparent. A good agent tells you everything, including the bad news. Your agent should practice transparency, not just by divulging information when necessary, but also by not being afraid to give to your straight.
They should tell you immediately if your offer gets rejected, or if a buyer backs out of the deal, so that you can decide on the next course of action right away. They should also inform you of every offer on the table so that you can choose who to transact with.
They’re tech-savvy. There’s no reason why your agent should use the latest tech developments to their advantage when helping you buy or sell a home. A great agent knows how to use social media, real estate websites, blogs, MLS, and other platforms that can amplify your reach.
Work with an agent you can trust
Your agent can have every certification imaginable, but at the end of the day, you have to work with someone you can trust. And you know you can trust an agent if they have a proven track record.