5 Tips for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

5 Quick Tips For Selecting Your Next Real Estate Agent

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When you have saved enough money for a down payment and have qualified for a secured loan your next step is to find a real estate agent who will create a solid plan of action to help you find the home of your dreams.

While all agents have access to the same listings not all have the attention of detail needed when it comes to finding homes that meet your criteria and not all agents have what it takes to support you from start to closing.  The 5 tips below will help you in identifying the agent that is right for you:

Tip #1 Ask Friend and Family

If you have any friends, family, or collegues who have recently bought or sold their home inquire about who they used and what their strengths and weakness are.  Ask specific questions that require more than a yes or no response.  While the perfect agent for your friends or family may not be the perfect agent for you this process will help you to narrow down your list of options.

Tip #2  Pound the Pavement

Drive around some of the neighborhoods you are interested in living in and see if there are any trends.  Is their one realtor that dominates the area?  Take a look at any available marketing materials they leave out for display and look for signs of recent activity.

Tip#3 Check Out Their Ratings

With the accessibility of online community forums an easy way to get first impression of a realtor is to see what their clients have had to say about them.  While you don’t know the personalities of the people who have left reviews you can get a general feel for the agent’s demeanor and work ethics.  Zillow is a perfect place to find realtor reviews.

Tip #4 Attend Open Houses

Once you have narrowed down your list of potential agents attend one of their open houses, even if it is for a house you are not interested in.  This will give you a feel for how they operate and how they interact with their clients.

Tip #5 Interview Your Prospective Agents

Once you have 2 or 3 agents left on your list set up an interview with them.  Meeting an agent in person allows you the ability to determine if their personality traits are what you are looking for and gives you the opportunity to ask questions that showcase their expertise.  During your interview focus on the areas below:

  If you are a first time buyer make sure they are someone patient enough to walk you through the process and technicalities that pop up along the way.

  Also find out what their turnaround time for response is—same day or next business day.

  A new agent does not mean they are not skilled as long as they are well versed with their current markets trends.  An advantage of new agents is that their schedules are mostly likely lighter meaning they have more time to commit to helping you find your new home.

  Are they organized or cluttered?  Is it welcoming or chaotic? 

  A broker has licensing and more education.  This does not mean that an agent can fill your needs it just gives you an idea of their level of training.  Inquire about any specialized and ongoing training and certifications they have received.

Once you have interviewed your agents you can select the one that best meets your needs.  If you are having a hard time deciding between 2 agents avoid the temptation to hire them both.  While multiple agents might sound like a dream, it actually causes chaos, confusion, and experienced agents will not work with clients that are using more than one agent.