We are amid a pandemic. Ideally, all aspects of life are slowed down, limited to the barest essentials. You need to stay at home as much as possible. That is to ensure the COVID virus does not spread and risk the lives of your loved ones and the public in general. But what if your lease contract’s about to expire? What if you’re in the market for a new house and land package?
Should you postpone your search for shelter for when the pandemic’s over and things go back to how they used to be? Or should you proceed with your property hunt, with its consequent logistical requirements, with fingers crossed that you won’t endanger your health and that of your family?
In terms of investment concerns, is it even smart to purchase property in this social and political climate? In an article recently published on Forbes, the author argues in favor of buying real estate during the pandemic. Cited arguments include how the market’s still pretty hot despite the global health care, and low-interest rates, as low as zero percent.
If you wish to maximize those opportunities, the first order of business is finding a reliable real estate agent. Here are the qualities you should consider with care.
Honesty and integrity
It all boils down to honesty and integrity. The real estate market is a competitive industry, and it’s not unlikely that you’ll encounter stakeholders who are in it to milk it for whatever it’s worth. To cite an example, between 2016 and 2019, more than a thousand rental fraud reports were received by the scam tracker managed by The Better Business Bureau.
To avoid falling prey to these fraudulent activities, your best bet is prioritizing agents referred to you by trusted sources, like friends and family. It won’t hurt to have a pool of candidates and do a little research on their respective backgrounds. A quick Google search of a real estate agent’s name should be enough to give you the essential information you need to make an informed decision.
It’s not enough that you work with an honest agent. It’s just as crucial that your agent knows the real estate market inside out. Someone with decades of experience should be on top of your choices. That length of service speaks of considerable immersion in the industry, and that will only work to your advantage.
Your agent should be able to advise you expertly on matters of importance. For instance, should you buy now or wait for maybe a few weeks, where a more favorable deal might come up?
An agent who does not know how to negotiate is an agent not worth their salt. And you must stay away from them if you can. You need an agent who will act in your best interest as if they’re working as your financial adviser. Keep in mind that agents work for commissions and the less reliable ones will push any kind of deal so long as they get their cut from it. You know an agent’s worth keeping if they’re actively negotiating a rewarding deal for you.
Real estate agents work for different clients, often at the same time. Do not take that against them. They have families to feed and bills to pay just like you do. That goes without saying that they should respond to you every time you send them a query.
Not answering your texts or calls is an absolute red flag. No, you’re not being needy. So long as you’re sending those queries in reasonable hours, there’s no reason to be seen-zoned.
The purchase process can get a little taxing. Your agent should be able to aptly guide you through the process.
Instead of slowing down, the real estate market continued to grow this year despite the pandemic. Online platforms that list properties, like Redfin and Zillow, saw millions of visits from house hunters.
If that statement resonates with you, then perhaps there’s no stopping you from pursuing real estate investment right now. You have made up your mind. The best we could do is steer you in the right direction, which begins with finding a real estate agent you can trust with all of your heart and bank account.