Whenever looking to buy a home, one will often turn to a real estate agent to help them with this process. Fortunately for prospective homebuyers, there are many ways to find a real estate agent that is right for you. Here are a couple of steps for qualifying their abilities and your compatibility:
LOCAL REPUTATION AND REFERRALS
Observe and learn about local agents. They will often be known in their community in terms of their service and performance. Ask family members, neighbors, friends and coworkers about their experience in buying or selling a home. Find out about recent home sales and their personal conduct when working with a client. Is the real estate agent known to be very trustworthy, accommodating and has the client’s best interest in mind?
KNOWLEDGE OF THE MARKET
When interviewing the agent, try and determine their knowledge of the local market. Since real estate agents are professionals who help people buy and sell homes in a given locale, it is important to make sure that they know details such as average home values in a particular neighborhood and current market conditions such as the average amount of days it takes a home to sell.
DEPENDABILITY & RESPONSIVENESS
While contacting agents, are they responsive? Do they arrive to appointments on time? Do they respond to voice mail and emails quickly? If so, these are clear signed they are dedicated to their jobs and you as a client.
AGENT MATCHING SITES
These sites such as UpNest and Homelight will do much of the legwork for you. You'll share information on whether buying or selling, size and price of the home and key talents you're looking for in an agent. They will then search their list of agents and qualify them based on your requested attributes. Their databases often include information on their sales track record, years of experience and more. They will typically provide several agents for you to choose from then connect you with the agent. The service is free to you and typically paid for by the agent. As we'll the agent will often work at a discount.
VISIT OPEN HOUSES
This will give you a chance to introduce yourself to a local agent and get to know them. Do they know the product (the house) well? What type of experience do they have? What type of network do they have? How many homes have they listed or sold in the past 12 months?
ATTEND NETWORKING EVENTS
Interacting within your community at a local chamber of commerce mixer or volunteer organizations will often lead to meeting a local agent or someone who knows one well.
READ ONLINE REVIEWS
Visit review websites such as Yelp or real estate site Zillow. Here the reviews will be localized and you'll get another perspective on local agents, perhaps several you've been considering.
Buying a house can often be a stressful process. If you've taken time to qualify a good real estate agent and are compatible, it will help make this process a lot less stressful. Take your time and be thorough.