How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent For You
Buying or selling any home is always a challenge. You have to find the right agent, neighborhood, price, mortgage, etc. But first, finding a Real Estate Agent. Once you’ve made the decision to buy or sell your home you need to look into an agent. Not all Real Estate Agents are the same, find someone you personally like to be around and are going to get you the best for your money. It also makes you feel a lot better when you have to give them their commission. Finding someone who understands what you want and is ready to give you their full attention when finding you a home. So do your research, know what you want, and be ready to answer questions. Ask agents to provide a list of what they’ve listed and sold in the past year, with contact information, and before you start calling the names, ask the agent if anyone will be particularly pleased or particularly disappointed. And, if you’re the seller, ask if these past properties are similar to yours in price, location and other salient features. What you want is someone who specializes in exactly what you’re selling.
Look up licensing, because states will have boards that license and discipline real estate agents in those states. Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out if the person is licensed and if there have been any disciplinary actions or complaints, or check to see if the information is posted online. Pick a winner, peer-given awards count. One that really means something is the “Realtor of the Year” designation awarded by the state or local branch of NAR. Select an agent with the right credentials
Just as doctors specialize, so do real estate agents. And even generalists will get additional training in some areas. If the agent calls himself a Realtor with a capital “R,” that means he’s a member of NAR. By hiring a Realtor, the most important thing you get is an agent who formally pledges to support the code of ethics.
Like I said earlier; research how long the agent has been in business. You can often find out how long the agent has been selling real estate from the state licensing authority. Or, you can just ask the agent. “If they haven’t been in business five years, they’re learning on you and that’s not good,” says Robert Irwin, author of “Tips & Traps When Buying a Home.” Ultimately, what you’re looking for is someone who is actively engaged in a particular area and price range. You’ll want to know what knowledge of those two factors they can demonstrate and what kind of market presence they have.
Make sure to look at their current listings and check out an agent’s listings online. Two places to look are the agency’s own site and Realtor.com, a website that compiles properties in the Multiple Listing Service into a searchable online database. Most buyers start their search on the Internet, and you want an agent who uses that tool effectively. You also can look at how closely the agent’s listings mirror the property you want to buy or sell. Are they in the same area? Is the price range similar? And does the agent have enough listings to indicate a healthy business but not so many that you’d just be a number?
And lastly, ask about other houses for sale nearby. A good agent should know about other area properties that are available off the top of his head. Mention a house in your area that’s sold recently or is for sale. If the agent knows the property and can give you a few details, that means he or she really knows your area, he says. You want someone like that who’s on top of the market. Now go out there and find your dream home!
Morghan Sanders, Social Media Intern