LOS ANGELES—Deciding whether to buy real estate isn’t easy. All the soul searching, digging through your financial papers to see if you could even qualify for a loan, not to mention all those discussions with your family and friends about the issue make the decision all that much complicated.
But once you decide to take the plunge and agree to look for a nice property to buy, you still must look for a good real estate professional who will make your home-ownership dream a reality and it’s not easy. Certainly a recommendation from friends will help, but ultimately, it’s your decision, not to mention your circumstances that will determine if you’ve made a good choice.
First and foremost, your broker must be knowledgeable about the area that you’d like to move to. This is crucial since quality of homes and neighborhoods can vary, not to mention the quality of life in those same areas. Knowing how close a noisy freeway is or whether local schools provide a safe and proper learning environment is especially important; as is whether the area is losing its value due to blight or commercial business closures, for instance.
It’s important to remember that buying property is probably the biggest and most important investment in your life. Living in a community that provides you and your family a sense of tranquility and a home is truly a major emotional and financial investment.
A broker must also be not only knowledgeable about home buying, but also the type of home you’d like to purchase. That expertise will go a long way toward finding you the right property for you and your family. Brokers who sell mostly condos may not serve you as well if their background was based on the single-family homes that you’re interested in.
Personal experience is also a plus for your potential broker. To me, if they don’t own property themselves, then it shows that they don’t believe in the product they’re selling. I would be very suspect of his motivations if my broker were a renter who didn’t own property. It just goes without saying that a broker should own property because it is a good investment and because they want to convey that to their clients.
It’s also important for a broker to be able to prequalify them for a loan to start with. The economy is tough and finding financing is never easy, but a good broker will be able to prequalify you and allow you to begin your search for a suitable property.
But while most brokers will be able to answer every seeming question you may have about Real Estate, it’s more important that they have the resources to be able to find answers to your questions. As the market moves and fluctuates, it becomes difficult to know all that there is when it comes to real estate, so having the right resources and having the ability to provide you needed answers is another prerequisite for your future broker.
Also important is a real estate agent’s ability to manage your expectations. The agent should be able to listen to you and provide you with feedback to help you understand your particular situation. By managing your expectations is generally about being able to give you some realistic expectations. Usually a buyer’s wants are greater than the dollars that he or she has available to make a purchase. Its human nature, but it’s also common in real estate.
Finding a combination of right experience, proper knowledge of neighborhoods and the real estate process, having the right resources and being able to manage your expectations is crucial to any broker seeking your business. Or else you can always turn to me at Advantage Real Estate in
David Rosenfeld is a Real Estate broker and president of Advantage Real Estate, a Real Estate and investment firm in Santa Monica, and a Rotary Club member. He has more than 20 years experience in commercial and residential property investments and financial counseling. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.