Choosing professional real estate representation

Selecting the right real estate professional is of profound importance when purchasing or selling a home. However, many prospective buyers and sellers miss opportunities to interview and qualify potential agents before committing to hire a representative. As consultants, real estate professionals are expected to have the education and experience necessary to impart relevant advice, which serves to promote informed decision-making.

But there are qualities and skills buyers and sellers should expect from their representatives, and a personal connection also holds significance. Finding a real estate practitioner who identifies and takes ownership in exceeding their client’s expectations on personal and professional levels is imperative. Both buyers and sellers should take the time to interview multiple agents, seeking out those exhibiting the essential qualities they value most. Yet, they must also focus on acquiring representation with demonstrated abilities and a tenacity for accomplishing objectives.

The underlying experience, education and background of competent real estate professionals are invaluable when buying or selling a home. Neither buyers nor sellers are expected to know everything there is to know about real estate; for these reasons, acquiring experienced representation is beneficial.

To receive licensure, practitioners must undergo pre-licensure training, pass a proctored examination and attend continuous post-licensing education. Once licensed, real estate professionals are expected to have demonstrable knowledge of state and national real estate law, and thus are accountable for engaging in legally compliant and ethically minded business practices.

It’s easy to become consumed with the many different steps inherent in a real estate transaction. Enlisting the insight of a knowledgeable representative helps mitigate complexities, the potential for mistakes and delays. But the challenge is sometimes finding the right person who exemplifies a buyer’s or seller’s real estate goals. Experience and education doesn’t immediately translate to skill; for these reasons, meeting with several prospective representatives is crucial. When interviewing potential agents, buyers and sellers should inquire about a prospective agent’s time in the business, sales volumes, clients represented and discuss relevant certifications and designations.

Whether working as individuals or a in team, practitioners are obligated to maintain client confidentiality. Professionally minded agents acknowledge the fiduciary relationship that exists between all parties, which is important given the often-competitive nature incumbent in real estate.

Well-versed real estate agents are continually driven to demonstrate honesty and integrity when acting on their client’s behalf. When asked, seasoned professionals will eagerly provide attestations from previous clients touting their effectiveness.

A real estate professional’s primary responsibility is to transact business and negotiate on their client’s behalf. To that end, successful practitioners view themselves as intermediaries, responsible for conveying their client’s needs while simultaneously representing their interests.

Accomplished real estate practitioners are consummate communicators who understand the dynamics of reaching diverse audiences. Knowing each party’s motivations and expectations prior to engaging in the buying or selling of a home, is of significant importance. Hiring representation attuned to the needs of others is vital when selecting a real estate professional. Therefore, when interviewing prospective agents, both buyers and sellers should establish clear expectations up front as to how information will be exchanged.

Successful real estate practitioners are well-connected with other industry professionals, many of whom offer complementary services. When selecting an agent, buyers and sellers should consider the importance of an agent’s network in relation to title companies, mortgage brokers, inspection services, and home appraisers. In turn, one or all may prove instrumental at various stages of the transaction.

The advent of modern technology has redefined the real estate industry. A wealth of information is now afforded to consumers online and oftentimes home buyers find their future homes in casually searching the Internet. However, an experienced real estate practitioner’s knowledge of local market conditions, property values and trends shouldn’t quickly be dismissed. Savvy real estate professionals have the experience to identify comparable properties and make educated pricing recommendations aligning within market tolerances. Professionals who employ market analyses, based on a subject property’s offerings and local market trends, are typically better equipped to make informed valuations on behalf of their clients.

For sellers, a comprehensive marketing strategy accompanied by a well-crafted property description and photographs is critical in capturing a prospective buyer’s interest. Having the home staged in advance of a showing may further entice buyers by instilling a favorable first impression. But detailed descriptions, photographs and competitive pricing will all fail to attract competitive offers if a home isn’t properly marketed. To that end, when interviewing prospective agents, sellers should ask how their home will reach potential buyers once listed.

Purchasing or selling a home is a time consuming and sometimes emotionally arduous proposition, but enlisting the guidance of an experienced real estate professional can make the process easier. Whether buying or selling, a professional’s knowledge typically proves beneficial. For those reasons, taking the time to choose a real estate professional who understands both the business and humanistic sides of the exchange is fundamentally important. While referrals from friends and family may prove insightful when it comes to narrowing the search, choosing the right real estate professional is a personal decision of significant importance given the many considerations that exist. Not a Monday through Friday, eight to five proposition, abled practitioners are available to assist their clients when requested.

Sean and Aimee McDonald, Realtors with RE/MAX North Lake Tahoe, can be reached at 775-250-8335 or


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