One of Austin’s most affluent neighborhoods, Westlake features some of the most stunning homes in the city. Tree-lined streets, rolling hills, and plenty of green space give it a scenic beauty. Outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of the area's network of hiking and biking trails. In addition to the shopping centers and diverse eateries in town, residents are only a short drive away from downtown Austin’s live entertainment scene.
Westlake is one of the most expensive suburbs of Austin, with many homes ranging from one to two million, if not more. You’ll find housing options to fit various tastes and lifestyles, including waterfront properties, custom-built luxury homes, large estates, gated communities, and high-end townhouses. In such a competitive market, working with real estate professionals is crucial when buying or selling a home. To get started, read below on how to find a real estate agent.
What does a real estate agent do?
A real estate agent is a licensed professional who can represent you when buying or selling a home. As a buyer, a real estate agent can help you find properties that meet your budget and criteria, set up property viewings, and negotiate offers on your behalf. As a seller, a real estate agent can put together comprehensive data to help you price your home correctly, list your property for you, promote it, host showings to potential buyers, and negotiate the offers you get.
Real estate agents can also connect you to a network of industry professionals, including home appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage lenders, financial advisors, and title companies. They coordinate and facilitate appraisals and inspections. They are onsite during the open house to ensure questions are answered and to follow up with interested buyers.
Transferring property involves a significant amount of paperwork for both buyers and sellers. This includes contracts, title documents, disclosures, and other legal paperwork. Real estate agents are responsible for ensuring that the necessary documents are completed and will answer any questions to ensure you understand all the paperwork.
Real estate agent vs. realtor — what’s the difference?
To become a licensed real estate agent, you must complete the necessary education and pass a state exam. Real estate agents represent buyers and sellers in a real estate transaction. They are licensed to facilitate real estate transactions, handle all the paperwork, and negotiate offers on behalf of their clients. In almost every state, they must work under the supervision of a real estate broker. This can be an individual broker or brokerage firm.
A realtor is a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The term “realtor” is their registered trademark. Real estate agents can become members and be designated as realtors. Other professionals in the industry, such as appraisers, property managers, counselors, salespeople, and brokers, can become members. To become a member, you must hold a valid real estate license, belong to a local real estate association, be active in the real estate industry, and have no record of unprofessional conduct.
Real estate agent vs. broker — what’s the difference?
As discussed above, a real estate agent is a licensed professional who has to work under the supervision of a broker or brokerage firm. Real estate brokers are also real estate agents, but they have completed additional education and met additional licensing requirements. They have more responsibility and authority compared to real estate agents. They can work independently, manage other agents, and operate their own brokerage firm.
How to find a real estate agent
Check with local or state real estate organizations and associations, such as the Austin Board of Realtors. They usually have a database of real estate professionals, and you can request a list of local real estate agents. This list can be broken down by location. You can also visit or contact local real estate offices that are located in the same area where you are buying or selling a property. Local offices can give you more personalized information on their own agents and areas of expertise.
Conduct online research to find real estate agents who specialize in that location and the type of property you are buying or selling. Online real estate platforms may have a listing of real estate agents and a direct link to that agent’s website. Look for agents with a strong online presence, a professional website, and positive client testimonials.
Ask friends, family, colleagues, or other real estate professionals for recommendations. This can be a financial advisor, mortgage lender, or anyone you know who’s used a real estate agent before and was satisfied with the service. They will have first-hand insights into working with that agent directly.
What to look for in a real estate agent
Your ideal real estate agent should have local market knowledge in the location where you’re buying or selling a home. They should have comprehensive and up-to-date real estate data, including information on recent sales and prices. They should also be familiar with the neighborhoods, housing options, amenities, and schools.
When choosing a real estate agent, consider their years of industry experience and areas of expertise. This can be in the luxury market, commercial properties, or high-end condominiums as long as it will suit the criteria of whatever you’re in the market for. Read their professional history, background in the industry, and client testimonials. Review their credentials and carefully assess their professionalism and suitability.
A good real estate agent will also be well-connected. They will have a network of professionals who work in the real estate industry and can assist you throughout the entire process. They should have reliable contacts in related fields and be able to refer professionals, such as mortgage lenders, appraisers, and title companies, to you.
A real estate agent who meets your needs
As one of Austin’s top real estate agents, Noa Levy can provide you with the resources, insight, and network of professionals in the real estate industry. Her passion for real estate has been a great asset for her clients, and she is very dedicated to helping them reach their real estate goals. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and Hebrew and specializes in luxury real estate in Westlake and the surrounding metro area. Call Noa today to get started on your real estate journey.
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