Finding a real estate agent has never been easy. For first time home-buyers everything is new and they probably don't know where to start looking. Seasoned homebuyer may change from the agent they previously used for many reasons; Service quality, loss of trust or they may have felt the agent fell short during the whole process.
A real estate agent can serve as a guide from start to finish during the home purchase or selling process. You don't have to be afraid to start looking for potential agents. Being interviewed by potential clients is part of an agent’s responsibility.
Knowing that you should use an agent is a great start, but first you need to find the right one. There are a lot of real estate agents, the question is, which agent is right for you?
Don't worry, we are here to help! Let’s take a closer look for "The Beginner's guide to Find the right real estate agent for you".
- Searching online for agent and listing
Maybe your 6 months out from buying or selling and buying, maybe your 12 months out. Heck! You could be two or three years out. Regardless of your timeframe, reach out to your local real estate company (they are everywhere! Anywhere you are, there is an agent) and ask them to set up an automated search for you based on your future home criteria. You will have listing sent to your email with options in your price range, with the right number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. This is a great way to test an agent out. Based on the results you are receiving; you will learn if that agent listens to you. If they stay in touch with you, you know they are thinking of you and not just “setting and forgetting” your search. Remember: just because you have an agent setting up an automated search does not mean you HAVE to work with them. Where there is one, there is a dozen. Make them work for you and earn your business.
If you’re selling or selling and buying, the same principle applies. Once the news it out there that you are looking to see or sell and buy, you’re phone and email will be filled with plenty trying to get your business. MAKE THEM WORK FOR IT. Now of course, as a Real Estate Brokerage ourselves, we are not condoning any type of “agent against agent” type situations, we are simply saying it’s not always in your best interest to go with the first agent who contacts you. Although you may hit it off with the 1st or 2nd or 3rd agent you connect with, and that’s complete fine! It’s about what you want and what makes you comfortable. But we are saying that it’s ok to hold interviews. She what each agent has to offer. Listen to their experience and have them show you proof of what they can do. Every agent can be different and excel in different parts of the transaction. Some are great with negotiations; some are great at marketing. Find what fit and works for you. Don’t be shy to ask questions and ask for materials to back up their methods.
Another option, whether you are a buyer or a seller, is to review agent profiles online if you’re not ready or interested in contacting an agent or meeting in person just yet. Research the top real estate brokerages in your area. For more seasoned agents, you can review websites and look at agents’ individual profiles. You can also learn a lot about someone by scanning their social media accounts/page. You should also check online reviews from their previous clients. Zillow would be a great place to start for review. Remember: for newer agents, you may not find a lot of information on past clients or sales but that doesn’t mean they work their tails off for you.
- Attend Local Open houses
Next step is to set your own standards. Let say you're looking for a polite, informative and knowledgeable agent. You want someone, who hands out professional-looking flyers and material about the home. Someone who answers all questions and when they don’t know the answers, they figure it out or find a way. A go getter or a go with the flow. Any choice is fine, as long as it’s your choice and you don’t feel pressured.
You want to find an agent who can help you understand the home buying-process.
But please remember, going to an open house is more like a trial interview, not a sit down. Other people will be coming and going and an agent will ideally be pointing out features of the home and giving tours, not sitting in the corner, only talking to one person the whole time, or ignoring people as they walk through.
The right agent will use time wisely, not waste it.
- Ask your family, friends and neighbors for recommendations
There’s also the referral option. Ask your friends and family who they’ve used in the past to buy or sell their home. There are a lot of agent’s out there who work strictly with referrals. But remember, what works for others doesn’t always fit your needs. Just me sure to always ask your questions and don’t hesitate to speak up.
These are just and overview and simple guideline on how to find your real estate agent. At the end of the day, you need to go with what your gut is telling you. You need to follow your intuition; go to an agent who makes you feel comfortable, secure; someone who you can trust with your home buying/selling process.
American Businessman, Anthony Hitt once said; “To be successful in real estate, you must always and consistently put your clients' best interests first. When you do, your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations.”