Throughout our lives, we’re going to meet a lot of people who will play a big role in the choices we make. When it comes to buying a house, you need to have the perfect real estate agent that’ll work with your best interest at heart. But, where does one even start to look?
There are more than a million (yes, a million!) realtors out there and finding the right one can be tricky. Here are a few tips for finding the perfect realtor that’ll make the search a little easier.
1. Know what you want
Even if this isn’t your first time at the rodeo, you need to know what it is you’re looking for when hiring your real estate agent. Do you want someone who relies on texting and email for communication? Do you want someone who’s available 24/7 or are you more flexible. Do you require an agent to keep you informed every step of the way or do you want an agent who can make decisions for you based on your lifestyle and preferences?
2. Listen to your gut
If you’re meeting with an agent and you aren’t getting good vibes from them, don’t ignore them. For example, if an agent is being pushy and insists that you sign anything, don’t feel like you have to! Also, if the agent doesn’t give you straight forward answers to questions or dishonest, don’t walk away – run!
3. Embrace technology
Although you can walk into any real estate office and ask to speak with an agent, or call a number on a billboard, don’t be afraid to go online. The internet has some pretty awesome tools that’ll help you find and compare agents in the desired area, find agent reviews, certifications and much more.
4. Do research
You can find out a lot of information online about an agent, but it doesn’t hurt to do some extra research. You can ask people in your social circle for recommendations if anyone has bought or sold a house recently. You can go to a Facebook group for your area and ask members for recommendations. If you’re particularly outgoing, you can ask people who live in your desired neighborhood who they go to for real estate advice or dealings.
5. Interview agents
Suppose you find a few agents you’d like to work with. Ask them if they’d be willing to answer a few questions for you. During this interview, you’ll want to ask the agent about their work history, their marketing strategies, references, and so on.
If you’re in the beginning stages of buying a home, you can use a home affordability calculator to help figure out how much house you can buy. The agent you choose should be able to show you houses in your desired area that’s within your price range without sacrificing too many things from your “wants and needs” list.
6. Ask about connections
Another important subject you’ll want to ask your agent about is their professional connections. Ask them about working relationships with contractors, inspectors, landscapers, code enforcement, and even lenders. You will know straight away how experienced and professional the agent is from this conversation. If you are looking into Bridging Finance, for example, in the process of buying a property, make sure to ask them their opinion and who they would recommend for the service. An experienced agent should have a strong network of qualified and insured professionals who can help you with common services related to the homebuying process.
7. Evaluate skills
After conducting your interviews, take some time to evaluate an agent’s skills. Ask yourself which agent has the most knowledge about the area? Which agent has experience working with clients with similar needs as you? Who has the best reviews and reputation?
8. Choose your agent
When you’re trying to find a real estate agent, timing is everything. But with that said, you certainly don’t want to hire just anyone. Take your time and look over your notes and think about the feeling you got when speaking with them. The agent you hire is going to be the determining factor whether you’ll have a pleasant (or stressful) experience.