Purchasing or selling your home is one of the most crucial and daunting financial decisions you’ll ever make. As such, choosing a real estate agent to assist you in the process is one of the critical first steps in buying or selling property.
Your real estate agent will help you find the home of your dreams and successfully close the deal. In fact, the National Association of Realtors revealed that 88% of recent homebuyers hired a real estate agent or broker to help them purchase their property, which demonstrates how helpful they are to the process.
When purchasing or selling a house, a competent real estate agent can help you make informed decisions and prevent costly blunders.
However, picking a real estate agent may be more complicated than you imagined, given the number of options available. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled this guide on how to find one.
The Role of a Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents assist clients in the purchase and sale of properties. When working with a real estate agent, customers learn about the current market conditions and how to navigate the process. An agent’s specific title is determined by the client they’re representing.
● A buyer’s agent serves as a liaison between buyers and sellers, assisting them in finding and evaluating properties, submitting competitive bids, and negotiating with the seller.
● Listing agents assist sellers in pricing, marketing, and negotiating with buyers.
There are agents who can play both roles in a transaction. However, it’s preferable to work with an agent that represents only one side of the deal.
How to Find a Real Estate Agent: Traits of an Excellent Real Estate Agent
In order to find a real estate agent that’s best for you, you need to know what they have to offer and how they can help.
Even if their abilities differ, you need to find a real estate agent who possesses these essential traits.
The home buying or selling process involves communication between several parties. Your agent will be interacting not only with you but with other professionals as well.
As such, hire an agent with whom you can communicate well and who is eager and capable of answering any questions you may have regarding the home buying process.
Additionally, you want a person that is friendly and adept at interacting with people through effective communication.
When interviewing potential real estate agents, it’s crucial to ask about their experience. You’re more likely to achieve better results with a more experienced estate agent, as well as the assurance that you’re in capable hands.
Pick an agent that has a track record of closing deals quickly and at great prices.
Solid Knowledge of the Local Market
Every market has its unique characteristics. Your agent should be an expert in your area’s market conditions and should be able to explain them to you, whether you’re looking for a home in a city or the suburbs.
Real estate markets tend to shift quickly. You must be prepared to place an offer if a property that interests you comes on the market.
Therefore, you’ll need a real estate agent who is available and can help you whenever you need it.
Finally, you should pick an agent with whom you are confident and comfortable. Since you’ll be spending plenty of time with them, it’s critical to work with somebody you enjoy being around and who recognizes your goals.
Steps in Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Know that you’ve learned the traits to look out for in a real estate agent. Here are the steps that can help you get started with your hunt.
Research Potential Candidates
Before going out and interviewing your potential real estate candidates, you should do your background research on them first. This will allow you to narrow down your list and save you time.
Check Them Out Online
In addition to traditional tactics like referrals, the internet also provides a multitude of instant information. As statistics have shown: In 2020, 97% of homebuyers utilized the internet to find a property.
Look at the agent’s website, social media pages, and online reviews. Verify with your state’s real estate authority to see if an agent you’re considering is licensed and if any disciplinary measures have been taken against them. Check the Better Business Bureau website for any complaints as well.
Ask for Referrals
See if you can get any referrals for a reputable real estate agent from people you know and trust. Another valuable source of referrals is your lender.
Regardless of who you ask, make sure you learn what they liked and didn’t like about their real estate agent, as well as the reason why they recommended that agent.
Interview Potential Real Estate Agents
The interview gives you a chance to get a feel for the real estate agent’s personality and work ethic. For the most part, you’re searching for an experienced agent with a specific area and recognizes your requirements and financial situation.
Interviews also give you the opportunity to address any doubts or issues you may have based on your preliminary investigation.
Keeping this in mind, here are some tips for a successful and illuminating interview:
Share Your Needs and Expectations Upfront
Your agent’s goal is to assist you in finding your ideal home. As such, tell them precisely what you’re looking for, how much you’re willing to spend, and where you’d want to reside.
If there are any absolute deal-breakers or conditions, say so right away. By doing this, your agent won’t waste time showing you houses you wouldn’t be interested in.
Take Note of Their Pitch
A good sales pitch is essential for real estate agents. As such, most of them have honed their delivery.
The best ones, however, will be able to adjust their sales pitch to fit your specific requirements and goals. Assess whether the information they provide is relevant to your situation.
Once you have finished sharing your expectations and the agent you’re considering has given their pitch, you should proceed to ask questions.
Take note of the agent responses and how much they satisfy what you’re looking for.
Here are some questions you can ask that can help your search:
● How long have you been in the real estate business?
● How much is your fee, and do I need to sign a contract?
● How many clients are you servicing right now?
● Are you a full-time or a part-time agent?
● How familiar are you with my target location?
● How will you find properties that meet my criteria?
● Can you explain the whole buying process in detail?
● How do you assist buyers in closing the deal?
● How can I exit your contract if I’m not satisfied?
Ask For References and Verify Them
Inquire about real estate agents’ past listings and sales, as well as contact details for some of their recent clients.
Give those clients a call and find out their experience and what kind of help they had from their agent throughout the process. Ask if they’d employ the same real estate agent in future transactions.
Finalize Your Choice
If you’ve done your homework, you should have a good notion of how your best prospects conduct their business. To make the final choice, here are some tips for making the decision.
Think About Compatibility
As mentioned earlier, chemistry is an essential trait to look for in a real estate agent. Compatibility with your real estate agent is crucial because you’ll be spending a significant amount of time with them and entrusting them with one of your most important life decisions.
The interview and any preliminary discussions with your prospective agent are the ideal opportunities to see if you connect.
Look for an Agent Who Is Dedicated to Your Success
Make it clear what you’re looking for, and if an agent tries to guide you in the opposite direction or outside the conditions you’ve deliberately defined, they may not be working in your best interest.
For instance, they might tell you to look at houses outside your budget range or avoid buying a co-op since it’s more challenging to close on.
In such cases, they’re more likely looking to benefit themselves than helping you buy or sell your property. Be prepared to ask questions, and don’t be scared to part ways if it doesn’t work out.
Check if They Consider Risk Mitigation
Make sure you work with a real estate agent that is honest about the hazards of purchasing or selling a property. You’re looking for a person that can see the big picture and take action to reduce risk.
To get the most out of your agent interviews, look for those who use actual data to back up their claims about neighborhood market performance, investment analysis, and the long-term effects of your purchasing or selling decision.
Look For Clear Communication
When it comes to conversing and interacting with a real estate agent, it would be best if you were entirely at ease. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured by a real estate agent, this isn’t a suitable match for you.
Also, look at how attentively agents listen. Your requirements and what you want in a new house will be discussed during the interview and after you’ve chosen your agent.
If you’re going to get the home of your dreams, your agent needs to listen to the information you’ve provided carefully. If the agent doesn’t seem to be paying attention to your needs right from the start, that’s a pretty solid indication that you should avoid them.
Follow Your Intuition
Experience and knowledge are vital, but so is an agent’s ability to lead you through the process with ease.
Ultimately, choose an agent you can rely on, even if the path to closing becomes a little rough. If something about a potential agent doesn’t sit right with you, you should not deal with them.
Look Over the Contract Carefully
If you’re going to sign a contract, be sure to look out for a few key points. Everything agreed upon should be outlined in your contract.
Even though first-time purchasers are unaware of the buyer-broker agreement, it is an essential tool and an added layer of security for both parties concerned about protecting their interests during the buying process.
This contract serves as a binding agreement between the client and the real estate agent. It also specifies the scope and obligations of the agent to you and allows you to replace agents if you like.
Most importantly, this contract includes the sales commission and timetable associated with working with a professional real estate agent.
The Bottom Line
Finding a suitable real estate agent might seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. If you put in some time and effort, you will be able to simplify the process down to a few easy steps. To get you started, follow the pointers we’ve shared in this article.
You’ll be working with the perfect real estate agent in no time.