In any business, its important to have a great team. Buying real estate is no exception. You need to make sure from the outset that you are working with competent real estate professionals. Nobody is looking out for you, more than you!
There may be more than a dozen people involved with your deal! There are real estate agents, assistants, appraisers, loan officers, loan processors, underwriters, paralegals, and attorneys (to name a few). So who are the key players? What do you have to know about them? How do you decide who to work with?
1. Network: If you know people in the real estate business, talk to them and ask for referrals. We want to help you! Ask them for the names of 3 or 4 lawyers, agents, or loan officers. Ask everyone who they prefer to work with. Its always better for a transaction when the loan officer, real estate agent, and closing attorney have a history with one another. When you think you are done asking, keep asking! This is the critical point of the team building process.
2. Research: Take the names you have accumulated and “google” them. Check out their websites, online profiles, recommendations, ratings, reviews, sales histories, etc. I’m not recommending you fully investigate each person and park outside his/her house to see what time they get home at night, but take 10 minutes per person to research carefully and take notes.
3. Test: Send some emails or make some phone calls to people that you might want to work with. Real estate is a 24/7 business. Did the person promptly acknowledge your email? Did he/she call you back within a reasonable time? When you spoke with him/her did he/she sound professional and seem to have a handle on things…Ask the tough questions.If the sales person doesn’t respond to leads quickly, just imagine how long you will wait when you are a client and need some help with a complex situation!
4. Trust Your Judgment: At the end of the day, you are going to be the person working with the professional, not your contact who recommended him/her. Don’t let advertisements and ratings websites manipulate your instinct. The best real estate people are worth their weight in gold. The bad ones may leave you homeless…literally!
5. Make a Decision Already!!!!!: You’ve done the hard work. You have networked. You have researched. You have tested these people and now its time to pick a team of professionals to work with. You’ve made it to the finish line. Congratulations! Don’t hold up your deal.
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