Ready to buy or sell a home? You already know that you need a great Oregon real estate agency to do it the right way. You’ll need to start interviewing, but do you know what to ask and what to do with what you learn? Here’s how to take a smart gamble and win the real estate agency jackpot.
1. Use the Internet (but Don’t Stop There)
It’s true that you can find a hoard of information about buying and selling a home on the Internet. But that information doesn’t replace a real, live real estate agency any more than a stuffed animal could replace your Chihuahua.
Don’t be afraid to use the Internet to do research before you’re ready to get serious about buying or selling. But then get out there and start interviewing agencies. The good ones will answer all of your questions and verify (or debunk) what you’ve learned in a way that makes sense to you.
Remember, real estate transactions aren’t as cut and dry as they seem on the Internet. A great Oregon real estate agency will help you navigate all the complications that arise during real estate transactions in a way that the Internet never could. (P.S. If you think this is likely to save you a lot of money, you’re right.)
If an agency is willing to patiently answer all of your questions in a way you understand, you are on the right track. If not, move on ASAP.
2. Trust Your Gut
Does your first meeting at a potential agency feel warm and fuzzy? Or does it feel like you’re stuck in an 80s horror movie? If it’s the latter, keep looking. We can promise you that a bad first meeting is a harbinger of worse things to come.
Chances are that you can cut out some of these agencies before you ever step foot in their doors. Before your first meeting, always remember to:
- Ask family and friends for their recommendations
- Research which agencies are buying and selling the most in your target neighborhood
- Read online reviews (Yelp, Google, even LinkedIn) and look at the agency’s website and social media accounts. You’ll quickly get a feel for the agency’s professionalism and expertise.
Chances are that doing these three things will help you short list the best agencies.
3. A Great Oregon Real Estate Agency Knows the Neighborhood
A great Oregon real estate agency knows the intricacies of the neighborhood you want to buy or sell in.
In fact, a local boutique brokerage (which means that the agency is not part of a national chain) is often a good bet if you want an agency that specializes in a particular area. (Shameless good example: Farrell Realty is a boutique brokerage, and we know North Portland like nobody’s business.)
Boutique brokerages are usually full of agents who are living and working in the area themselves, giving them unique and extremely valuable perspectives on the benefits and challenges of living there.
They Know Schools and School Boundaries
If you have school-age children, you know how important it is to have them in a school that’s a good fit for them.
A good Oregon real estate agency will be able to help guide you. If you’re trying to choose between two comparable homes, they may be able to give you information about a school that will help you make the best decision for your family.
They Know the Hyper-Local Market
Agencies that are clued into the local market know how much homes in the area have sold for and how that affects the value of the home you’re selling or buying. Go ahead: ask about a few recently sold properties in your area. Good agencies will know a few key facts about those properties.
Local agencies should also know why one street or area commands higher prices than others. They know which neighborhoods are overpriced and which neighborhoods are up and coming (and will be great for resale later). They know about neighborhood changes, like zoning changes, which could increase or negatively affect property values in the next several years.
In short, a great Oregon real estate agency that knows the hyper-local market helps you make smart buying and selling decisions.
They Know What’s Coming and Who Wants to Buy
One of the best ways to buy what you want and to sell your home fast is to find an agency that has lots of local neighborhood contacts. These agencies know the pool of potential buyers and sellers like nobody else can.
A clued-in agency is a great resource if you’re having a hard time buying in a competitive market because they’ll likely know what’s coming on the market, giving you a better shot. A good agency also has the greatest number of past clients that may be thinking about selling just the kind of home you’re looking for.
And if you’re selling, you don’t want to just list your house. You want your agency to find you a buyer so it can sell right away. If you can go to an agency that knows of 20 people wanting to buy a home like yours in your neighborhood, you want that agent more than anyone else.
4. A Great Local Agency is Involved in the Local Community
Another sign of a great Oregon real estate agency? They’re heavily involved in the local community. At Farrell Realty, we believe in the importance of supporting other businesses in our neighborhood. And we appreciate the support we receive in return for lending ours. After all, we’re all in this together—we all want our neighborhood to be a safe, fun, and vibrant place to be.
Look for agencies who think the same way, who want to make their neighborhood a better place for everyone. That alone speaks volumes of the quality of service you’ll receive.
Need Some help?
If you happen to be looking to buy or sell in North Portland, we hope you’ll consider giving us a call. North Portland is our stomping ground—we live here, work here, and think it’s just about the greatest place there is. We’d be happy to show you around!