Working with the appropriate real estate agent may make the process of purchasing or selling a house much easier. Here are five ideas to make your search for the perfect real estate agent a little easier before you sign up with the first real estate agent you find.
5 Points to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Agent
1. Be ready.
It will be easier to click here to discover an agent who meets your needs if you are prepared and know what you want.
You should get preapproved for a mortgage before you start looking for a home. “Qualifying for a mortgage is critical for the buyer,” Brobeck explains. “If you haven’t [pre]qualified for a mortgage, many of the best agents won’t be interested in you.” You can chat to agents who have experience with the types of properties in your price range once you know how much property you can afford. For sellers, sites like Zillow and Redfin may give you an estimate of your home’s value and how long it will take to sell.
Knowing which part of the real estate market your property belongs to, such as a starting house or an investment property, can also assist you in selecting an agent. You might not want to work with someone who has solely dealt with first-time purchasers if you’re selling your family’s holiday property.
2. Seek advice from friends and family.
When looking for an agent, you’ll want to interview several people, and a good place to start is with your existing network. Family, friends, and coworkers who have recently purchased or sold a house can be excellent sources for unbiased real estate agent recommendations.
Local agent reviews can be found online, but they should be taken with a grain of salt. “Almost all of those reviews are provided indirectly by the agents themselves,” Brobeck says, “so there is a favorable bias there.” You might also look at an agent’s social media presence, which could be useful if you’re selling a house. “You can get a good feel for someone based on what they’re sharing on Facebook and Instagram and decide whether or not they’re someone you’d trust with your most important possessions,” says Karin Carr, a certified Realtor and CEO of Georgia Coast Homes.
3. Look for someone who is active and knowledgeable in your field.
When interviewing agents, find out how long they’ve been in the industry and whether they work part-time or full-time in real estate. “I’m concerned if this is done as a side gig,” Carr says. What if they are unavailable when you go house hunting because they are working full-time, as Carr explains? You may also ask to see a list of previous transactions to see what locations and types of properties they have worked with to get an idea of what type of experience someone has.
You’ll want someone who is familiar with the intricacies of the market in the area where you’re buying or selling. Also, having someone who lives close to where you’re buying or selling can be beneficial. “I’d pick someone local,” Carr says, “but it doesn’t have to be someone who lives in that particular subdivision.” If your agent lives many hours away, their availability for last-minute showings may be limited.
4. Look for someone who satisfies your requirements and is a good match for your personality.
Because of the correct personality fit, it’s critical to meet and interview a few real estate agents before picking one to deal with. “It’s better to interview the person in person than than over the phone,” Brobeck explains. “You’re going to have to pay a lot of money to them.” I’d search for someone else if they wouldn’t take the time to undertake a personal interview.” It’s critical to have faith in your agent and believe that you can rely on them in the event of a problem.
The appropriate agent can also assist you in navigating the emotional aspects of home buying. “It’s possible that this transaction will be quite stressful. “We’re talking about a lot of money passing hands, especially if this is your first time,” Carr says. You’ll want to collaborate with someone whose style and experience are a good match for your requirements.
Make your expectations plain and direct up front, and make sure your agent is comfortable meeting them. Carr says, “I have a friend who says he doesn’t work on Sundays.” “Whenever he meets with a new customer, he begins by saying, ‘I just want to be completely honest with you.’ On Sundays, I am not at work. If this is going to be an issue. Let’s have a conversation about it.'”
Find out what hours your agent is accessible ahead of time to ensure they are a good fit for your needs.
Inquire of your possible agent:
- What are their hours of availability for showings?
- What are their hours of availability for answering questions?
- Their favorite communication techniques.
Will you be working with them directly or with a member of staff or an assistant?
5. Be aware of what you’re providing and receiving.
You’ll usually need to put your commitment in writing once you’ve discovered the person you wish to work with. A three-month exclusivity agreement with a real estate agency is normal, and a six-month commitment is typical for a seller’s listing agreement. The length of these contracts, however, is flexible based on the market and your requirements. Simply ensure that the duration of your commitment is one that you are comfortable with.
Real estate agents are paid on a commission basis, with a median charge of 5% to 6%. If you’re a buyer, on the other hand, you won’t have to spend anything out of pocket. When a home is sold, the seller normally pays this charge, which is split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.