What are the characteristics of good real estate or rental agents?
To be clear, we want to note that the terms “real estate agent”, “real estate broker”, “Realtor”, “rental agent” and “rental broker” for the purposes of this website all fall under the term “real estate agent.” We also note, that a real estate agent can either perform a real estate purchase or a rental transaction.
There are a lot of characteristics of good real estate or rental agents, but for the City of Chicago there are a certain set of characteristics that are essential for an agent to stand out. Chicago is a large city with many unique neighborhoods to live in, each has its pros and cons. Additionally, there are many different real estate trends which make it a more complex real estate for purchase and rental market.
The Top 8 Characteristics of a Good Downtown Chicago Real Estate Agent:
Following are what we believe are the fundamentals of a solid real estate agent or rental agent in the downtown Chicago real estate and rental market.
- The real estate agent knows the area geographically. No one wants an agent that gets lost. You would assume that every real estate agent in downtown Chicago knows where he or she is going, but there are many new real estate agents coming to market that are not familiar with the area. Ask your agent (either real estate purchase or rental) if he or she is familiar with the area.
- The real estate agent knows the area’s current events. By current events we mean 1) proposed construction projects & 2) new commercial or residential developments, 3) zoning changes, 4) new restaurant openings 5) the history of the development of the area 6) the city’s plan for the area, etc.
- The real estate agent is a good communicator. It is important to select a broker with good communication skills. This comes in handy when your needs are more specific than others.
- The real estate agent is willing to negotiate for you. This is hard to determine unless you’re in the later stages of purchasing your home or signing the lease for your apartment. A broker that is willing to negotiate hard for you and is not afraid to play hard ball can sometimes save your thousands of dollars on your purchase or up to hundreds of dollars on your monthly lease.
- The real estate agent is punctual. You are likely in town for a short period of time and do not have a minute to spare when looking for your home or next apartment in downtown Chicago. The last thing you need is a broker that turns up 30 minutes late. Punctuality is very important and if a broker has a hard time returning your phone calls he or she has a high probability of Mr. or Ms. Unpunctual.
- The real estate agent is honest. Honesty and straightforwardness are extremely important. This especially is true when there is negative/unfavorable news that’s hard for brokers to communicate to clients, but necessary. A broker should not be afraid to tell his client bad news or that he or she made a mistake.
- The real estate agent understands your budget and will stay within it. Nobody likes a pushy salesman whatever the product or service may be. The same applies to the real estate or rental market. Your broker should not push you to buy or rent a property out of your price range. BUT as a buyer or renter, you must also be realistic and understand the market prices for the neighborhood of downtown Chicago that you would like to live in.
- The real estate agent understands the real estate purchase or rental contract. For the most part, real estate purchase and real estate rental contracts are fairly standardized. It is important that your real estate agent is familiar with and understands the real estate sale or purchase contracts and the standardized rental contract.