Whether you’re buying your first house, looking to downsize, or need a new house for a growing family, a real estate agent can be your best friend. They’ll give you advice about the market, answer your questions, and negotiate on your behalf so you can get the best deal possible while not offending the other party.
The question is, how do you find a realtor you’d like to hire? Here’s a few things to keep in mind because they’ll make finding that perfect agent a little easier.
1. Figure out what you want
Long before you even begin your house hunt, you need to have a clear idea of what you want – not just in a realtor, but what you want from your experience. Do you want a realtor who’s accessible 24/7 or would you prefer that they only reach out when they find a property that meets your needs? Do you want an agent who specializes in single-family home sales or are you open to the idea of buying a condo or townhome? Do you want the agent to take their time finding the perfect house, or do you need to move quickly?
2. Don’t be afraid to use technology
Google is our best friend when it comes to finding information, so when you’re trying to compile a list of possible real estate agents, don’t be afraid to use various search engines, review sites, and the like. These tools will give you a snapshot of the real estate agent’s qualifications, their experience, and so on.
3. Don’t skimp on research
You’ve looked online for agents and even had a few interviews. That’s great, but you’ll want to get some real life recommendations. Ask friends, family and co-workers if they’ve worked with a realtor recently and if so, could they talk about their experience with their agent. If no one has bought or sold recently, join a local Facebook group and ask the members for recommendations. The more information you can get, the better!
4. Ask to interview the agent
Once you’ve looked at the search results and wrote down which agents seem like the best fit, reach out to them and ask if you could set an appointment to meet in person. If they agree, you’ll want to ask them to go over some of the stuff you found online. For example, if they have 10 years of experience, ask them what type of property they have dealt with the most. Ask them about the most common types of mortgages they’ve had experience with and how quickly they get to closing.
5. Follow your instincts
During the interview, trust your gut. If you get the feeling that the agent isn’t a good fit or if they give you bad vibes, you don’t have to work with them. Your gut rarely steers you wrong and since this is such a big decision, you don’t want to ignore it.
6. Ask about their professional connections
The real estate agent is the only person you’ll be working with during this process. You’re going to need to work with other professionals along the way – especially if you plan on doing some work to the house. Ask the agent if they can provide you with a list of professionals that they work with on a regular basis. These professionals should include home inspectors, contractors, lenders, and landscapers, and so on.
7. Review your notes
Up until now, you should have been keeping notes about your findings. Before you hire an agent, go over the notes and weigh the pros, cons, and qualifications for each agent. This information will help you make the best, well-informed choice.
8. Choose your agent and hire them!
Real estate professionals are a dime a dozen but not all of them are going to be the right fit for your situation. So when you’re reviewing your notes and come to a decision, hire them! You’ll find that when you’re working with a great agent, the whole house buying experience won’t be so stressful.