Hiring a professional real estate agent when buying or selling a home can be the make or break when you’re planning your next move. Especially when dealing with ranches, land and farms, or luxury homes the right professional realtor can help you make smarter decisions – and avoid costly mistakes.
But not just any real estate agent will work. Here’s our breakdown of how to choose the right real estate agent for you – and your needs.
What does a real estate agent do?
Real estate agents help people buy and sell homes, lots, ranches, and even commercial buildings. One common misconception is that real estate agents just help out with homes. Our real estate agents, for example, can also help manage Oregon land, a house on land for sale, farms and ranches for sale, Oregon luxury homes, ranch lands, farms and ranches, and more. A good real estate agent will also be familiar with things Zillow doesn’t cover like local zoning laws, water rights and land use, as well as have a deep understanding of which parts of Southern Oregon are the most desirable to purchase your next home in.
Real estate agents can do much more than simply sell the property. An agent will help educate clients about market conditions, make referrals to other professionals (like home inspectors, or water rights consultants for example), and guide clients through each step of the process. Their titles will depend on who they represent in the transaction.
A buyer’s agent, for example, will help their buyers find and shop property with land for sale, make offers, and negotiate with sellers.
A listing agent, on the other hand, will help the seller price their property, list the land for sale in Ashland, Oregon, and negotiate with buyers.
In some situations, an agent will represent both sides of a transaction. But we always recommend having someone who works in your corner, especially if you’re shopping or selling in the competitive Southern Oregon housing market.
Realtor vs. real estate agent
Most people throw around the words realtor and real estate agent interchangeably. Not every real estate agent qualifies as a realtor, and vice versa. A realtor is a licensed agent and a member of the National Association of Realtors. Members will abide by the association’s standards and code of ethics.
Real estate agents, on the other hand, are licensed in the states where they work. They abide by national and state laws. To become a real estate agent, you need to complete a certain amount of coursework and pass an exam.
What to find out about your realtor
You need to learn about these key things first, no matter if you plan to buy or sell.
What experience do you have?
Experience is everything. You need to ask your realtor what property they normally work with. Some realtors will specialize in luxury homes, for example, while others focus on rural properties like ranches, homes with acreage, or hunting land. If you have farm and ranch land for sale, for example, you don’t want to work with a real estate agent who specializes in commercial real estate. You need to find a realtor who’s familiar with the type of property you’re looking for.
How much will the agent be paid?
In most cases, the seller pays the real estate commission. The listing agent will split that with the buyer’s agent. A typical commission ranges from 5% to 6% of the sales price. If you are selling, you can try to negotiate a lower rate.
What about recent clients?
Ask for testimonials from recent clients to understand whether they have satisfied past customers.
Will they represent your interests?
It’s a common assumption: assuming any real estate agent will represent just your interests. But sometimes, agents aren’t legally required to represent solely your interests. A dual agent, for example, represents both the buyer and the seller. Understand the nature of the agent’s rule, and ask agents about their role in the entire process.
How many transactions have they recently closed?
Some realtors are part-time and some are just getting started. It’s important for you to work with a realtor who has closed all types of transactions – from new home construction to land deals to waterfront homes. A good realtor will have both active listings and a pool of potential buyers that they can contact when a great property becomes available for sale.
Find the Best Realtor Near Me: Advice for buyers
Consider these questions when choosing an agent to help you buy a home:
- What challenges will you face as a buyer? A good agent can explain the real estate market and availability of homes – as well as the competition you may face. Depending on the area or neighborhood, homes for sale in Oregon, for example, are often highly sought after and buyers may face strict competition.
- How will the agent help find property in your price range? You should ask the agent about how they have helped past clients like you.
- How can the agent help make competitive offers and negotiate? Your agent should understand the market; houses for sale in Oregon, for example, may require negotiation or over-budget offers. Ensure your agent helps you stay grounded within your budget and goals.
Find the Best Realtor Near Me: Advice for sellers
Consider these tips when choosing an agent to help you sell land.
- What listings compare to mine? Your agent should do a comparative market analysis for the last six months and be able to tell you how your property stacks up to the competition.
- What do they think your land is worth, and why? The highest price isn’t always the best choice. Your agent should back up their decisions with market knowledge.
- What should you do to improve your home or property? A simple fix can go a long way. If you’re selling a home, for example, having your carpets deep cleaned could make a big difference. Or maybe you need to renovate your kitchen a little. A good agent will help you get the most value. They will also make recommendations on staging your property for maximum value and desirability.
- What will the marketing look like? Marketing is everything. Will they use video marketing? Real estate videos can easily show how spacious your ranch lands, for example, truly are – like this vast property, Pheasant Ridge Ranch. Does your agent plan to use drone video? Do they plan to use photos or social media marketing? The best realtors use video marketing to attract buyers and showcase all the great attributes of your home, land, or ranch.
Martin Outdoor Properties
Martin Outdoor Properties is the leader in Southern Oregon for using video production in real estate sales. We are one of Oregon’s premier outdoor property real estate teams: a hand-selected group of full-time brokers who share a deep appreciation for rural properties. Learn more about us here.