If you are looking to purchase or sell your current home, one of the first steps is to find a reputable real estate agent who is willing to work with your specific needs. Your agent will walk you through the entire buying or selling process, and a good agent can ensure you get the best deal possible. No matter what area you live in, you are likely to have dozens of real estate agents to select from, so choose one can be an exhausting task. However, with a little preparation and the right steps you can find the perfect agent.
Steps to Finding an Agent
One of the best ways to find a great agent is to seek referrals from people you trust. If you have friends, family members or co-workers who recently purchased or sold a home ask them about their real estate agent. This can alert you to good agents in your area or steer you away from not so good ones.
Attend Some Open Houses
A great way to meet agents is to attend open houses in your area. This can provide a great opportunity to meet various agents without feeling pressured to contact them at their office, where they will assuredly be looking to make a sale. As an added bonus, you get to see some of the homes in your area while getting a feel for what type of homes or neighborhoods you like or do not like.
Check Out a Couple of Agents
Do not sign a contract with the first agent you meet. You must check out several agents so you can make a better decision, especially if you are new to real estate. Meet one-on-one with each agent you are considering so you can determine what their work-style is like and ask questions important to you, such as their sales history.
Ask the Right Questions
There are several major questions you should ask each agent you are considering using. First, ask the agent about their experience in the real estate market and how many years they have been working in your specific area. Find out if the agent lives locally and how well they know the area. Ask questions about the community and local schools. A good agent should know this information without looking it up.
Ask if they are a full-time or part-time agent too, and if they have another job. This may be an indicator that they will not be available at certain times during the day. Find out if the agent is a buying or selling agent, or if they do both equally.
Know When to Sign an Agreement
Do not allow an agent to pressure you into signing a contract. Look at several properties with the agent before entering into a contract. You need time to build trust with the agent first. After a few hours, you are likely to know if they will be the right agent for you.
What to Look for in an Agent
There are several things you should look for in an agent before making a final decision. First, does the agent have at least several years of experience in your specific area and does he or she seem knowledgeable about the local market. Does the agent appear busy? While you want the agent you are working with to have many clients, you don’t want an agent bogged down with appointments or who will look for a quick sale. Look at their online website, which is a necessity in today’s real estate market. Do they display homes in an easy-to-find format with detailed information and professional pictures? Studies show that 85% of home buyers look online first when shopping for a home, so the agent must be tech savvy.
Finding a real estate agent you trust is not as difficult as it may seem. Be sure to take your time and do not sign any contract until you are ready. As long as you ask the right questions and look for signs of a great agent, you will be able to find the right agent that you can trust to help you buy or sell your home.