A lot of people are in the market for a new house right now and/or have a need to sell their home. The first concern on everyone’s mind is how to make sure they hire the right real estate agent. As you know all too well if you’re in this situation, you need to find a real estate agent that can streamline this process for you and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. How can you find the right fit to get you all the way through the buying and closing process?
You may be surprised to know that the best real estate agent for you won’t always necessarily be found at one of the top agencies near you. It’s important to focus more on the agent and less on the company. Look for an agent who is experienced, ethical, professional, knowledgeable of the market in your target area, and demonstrates an ability to listen to and understand your needs and preferences.
Read on to learn our best tips for searching for your real estate agent.
1) Referral and Word-of-Mouth
Simply put, good real estate agents tend to get more referrals as they have a strong track record of satisfied home buyers. Talk to your friends, family and neighbors and ask for recommendations. Ask your friends or family to tell you about their experience with their real estate agent, both the positives and any negatives or frustrations. A qualified real estate agent prioritizes customer satisfaction and does their part to facilitate a positive and stress-free experience for the client. A good tip is to find a realtor who has a good working knowledge of the neighborhood you’re trying to buy in.
2) Search Online for Agents in Your Area
Watch out for online referrals that connect you with an agent; keep in mind that they are paid to refer these particular agents to you, so these may not be the most quality or most trusted agents in your area. When you do your search, take a look through the real estate agent to get a better feel for their expertise and record. As you search on google, start making a list that you want to call and interview. An agent with lots of field experience knows the process well, but on the flip side a newer real estate agent may have more time on their hands to help you. Make sure to look for client reviews and testimonials, if there are any.
3) Attend Open Houses
Visit some open houses in your target area; this is a great way to meet potential agents in a casual way; you’ll have the opportunity to get a feel for different agents in person and to collect business cards.
If you’re also considering selling a home, take note of the selling agents’ presentation of the home at the open house. Pay attention to whether the realtor is approachable, professional, knowledgeable and polite. Is the agent present and enthusiastic, playing up the best features of the home and passing out professional brochures or information sheets? Or, do you find the agent seems bored, disinterested or unprofessional.
4) Watch out for Real Estate Sign Posts
You can learn quite a bit by paying attention to how long For Sale signs stay posted; how long from the first day the house is listed does it take for the home to actually sell. An agent with a quicker sales turnover is going to be a smarter choice than one who isn’t selling as many homes as quickly. A good selling agent can make a world of difference in the speed and success of your home’s sale.