Each home buying or selling experience is unique. Your needs, budget, preferences, and length of search will all change as the market changes. You want to find a real estate agent who is a match for your personality, who works well with you, and has dealt with sellers or buyers in similar situations. Experts in the field shared their tips on how to choose the right agent. Here are our findings.
Refer a friend to get a referral
A referral to a great agent for real estate is best received from someone who has worked with them personally. You can ask your employer to recommend a local agent or use a review site like Zillow, Yelp or Google to start looking for potential prospects if you are relocating.
One thing you should not do is hire a friend or family member to represent your interests as a real estate agent. Buyer and seller should not have emotional connections with their agent. This is a business relationship, not a relationship. Client and agent will work better together if there is no friendship.
Pay attention to responsiveness and your communication style
When you begin looking for a realtor, the first thing you will notice is their responsiveness. An agent who does not respond in a reasonable time frame is no excuse for failing to act in 2018, and there are very few reasons.
Instant gratification is a common expectation for clients. Agents must be available to satisfy this demand.
There is no reason to delay communications with all the information and technology available.
An agent who is responsive can help you navigate your search and jump on hot properties. They will also likely have the availability to give the attention you need.
It is important that you and your agent agree on the preferred communication method. Your agent should be able to accommodate your preference for texting. Your agent should be able to communicate with you via email if you prefer email.
You should feel comfortable wearing them
Make sure you are comfortable working with a real agent before you make a decision.
Apart from the thorough vetting that you need to do, you also have to consider whether the Realtor is the right match for you. Your relationship with your Realtor is often complex and emotional.
You must feel comfortable with them and trust them. You may have all the qualifications for a Realtor, but it’s not enough if you feel like you can trust each other.
For credentials, ask
Agents can have formal certifications or specializations. You’ll want your agent to be licensed in your state. While some professionals have specializations to help seniors (Seniors Relocation Specialist) and military personnel (Military Relocation Professional), there are three terms that you will often hear: broker, realtor, and real estate agent.
Real Estate agent: An individual licensed to sell or buy residential or commercial real property. State-issued real estate licenses will have different requirements.
Realtor: A Realtor, a real-estate agent who is a member of National Association of Realtors (NAR), is Agents must be actively involved in the field, have not been subject to any formal proceedings, have no pending or recent bankruptcy and must pay an annual fee and application fee to the NAR. NAR also offers many other specializations.
Broker: A broker is a licensed agent in real estate who has received additional education in the state they are licensed to practice. They typically manage or own real estate agencies. While brokers can work on their own, all agents must be under the supervision of brokers.
Take a look at their experiences
Certain situations will require more expertise than others. Some buyers of first homes may require a bit more assistance as they move into the market. Relocating clients will need an agent who has a deep understanding of the city’s neighborhoods and lifestyles.
You should choose a realty agent with extensive experience in working with buyers and sellers similar to you, whether you are downsizing or looking to purchase a foreclosure. Your agent should not be able to sell condos if you are selling a single-family house. You shouldn’t pick a real estate agent who is only local if you are moving to the suburbs.
Ask them how many transactions they process each year.
The amount of business the agent gives can affect how responsive they are. It’s important to ensure that the agent has a steady flow of business, but not so much that they are unable to give you the attention that you deserve.
Part-time real estate agents may work in the industry, which can impact the number of transactions they handle annually. However, if you are new to the home-buying or selling process or are looking for a specific type of property, you should carefully vet the part-time agent to make sure they have the right connections and knowledge.
Test their market knowledge
Agents are required to be knowledgeable about the market. Agents must research the market and find out all that is relevant to the client’s needs and wants before they meet, and not during the meeting.
A good agent will know everything about the market, including market comps and pricing history. Clients won’t get a true value-add if they don’t have complete market insights.
Agents who agree quickly with your selling price but don’t provide market research to back it up should be avoided
An expert real estate agent will provide comparable sales analysis and homes on the market to help sellers determine which home is most competitive. They can help you choose the best price for your home.
In cities where local laws and coop boards govern real estate transactions, a knowledgeable agent is crucial.
Agents who are familiar with the area where you shop will be a valuable asset in highly competitive areas like San Francisco and New York.
It is crucial to find out how well an agent knows the neighborhood you are interested in if you are a buyer.
It is crucial that your Manhattan broker understands and knows the signs in the neighborhood buildings. You want to find out how many years of experience your broker has, and if he has sold properties in the same neighborhoods as you.
Examine their reputation
You should read their reviews, not only the ones posted on their website. What are their clients saying about their connections and process? Sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin and even Google and Yelp can be great places for clients to leave third-party reviews.
A well-connected agent is also important as many sales are made through networks. Look for any awards or designations that they have, particularly if it is local awards. Ask potential agents about their relationships and how they find listings or sell homes.
Ask to see the dessert
Make sure that your agent is able to point out specific examples of their success. Ask for references and speak with past clients. Seek out stats that show their professional success. Also, request examples of how they protected clients’ best interests. A good advocate agent should be able show you tangible evidence of their success.