Whether you're buying a home or selling a home, today's real estate market is hot. It's fast-paced and you cannot miss a beat. It's imperative, now more than ever, to have an experienced real estate agent who has your best interests at heart. There are key skills you should look for in your listing agent or selling agent.

Key Skills Every Agent Should Possess

Whether you're buying, selling or both, be sure your real estate agent is knowledgeable about today's market and has been doing business recently. The real estate markets in 2020 and so far in 2021 have been like no other. The demand for homes has been and is still high, as eager buyers rush to new listings and submit offers quickly. Home prices continue to increase and sellers are reaping the rewards of quick sales. According to an article written by Danielle Hale on Realtor.com, "Homes continue to sell faster than a year ago." Time on the market in August 2021 was down 12 days from last year.

Your agent should know the real estate contract like the back of her hand. This includes the recently-popular clauses, addendums and riders such as price acceleration addendums, appraisal gap riders and "as is" clauses. Whether you're a buyer or a seller, your agent should possess top-of-the-line negotiation skills. Your agent should also be a full-time agent and have time to give you the exceptional service that is necessary in today's market.

Skills to Look For in a Listing Agent

It's no secret homes are selling quickly. Your home value is most likely the highest it's ever been. Some homebuyers may think they can sell their homes themselves, without an agent's representation. However, there isn't a more important time than now to hire an experienced, local listing agent to represent you. Your agent's goal is to get you the highest home value, in the least amount of time and with the least amount of stress. There is a lot to navigate when representing a seller in today's market. Your agent should prepare a market analysis for you to show you how home prices have been increasing the past year and suggest the best list price for your home.

Be sure your agent is a member of her local multiple listing service so your listing is exposed to as many agents and buyers as possible. You are likely to receive multiple offers on your home. Your agent should be able to explain every detail about the contracts, including any addendums, riders or clauses that may make each one stand out. There is more to consider than just price. There are attorney, inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies to consider, to name a few. Your agent should negotiate hard to get the best price and terms for you.

Skills to Look For in a Selling Agent

If you are in the market to buy a home right now, your agent should be available for you and on the ball at all times. You are competing with a record number of buyers right now. Inventory of homes available are historically low. According to the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, home supply is down 12% from one year ago. Your agent should have the skills to write a contract that will impress sellers. Your agent should be knowledgeable about price escalation clauses, appraisal gap riders, which contingencies you should waive and so on. Your agent should negotiate skillfully, on your behalf, to get you the home you want.

If you don't have a real estate agent in mind, you can find a skilled agent on sites such as Homelight.com or Upnest.com. If your agent has the right skills, you will be sure to have a successful real estate transaction.