When shopping for a new home, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is the real estate agent you select.
For one thing, you’ll likely work quite closely with this person, so it’s important to choose someone in whom you have some confidence, and with whom you get along.
For another, you’ll be relying on the expertise of your buyer’s agent to help you find the right home, locate the best area service vendors, and make wise decisions throughout the negotiation process.
As such, we’d recommend picking your agent carefully. You can start by simply asking for recommendations from family members and friends. We also recommend checking out online reviews of area agents, which aren’t always foolproof, but can certainly be illuminating.
In addition, here are six things buyers can do to select the right agent to fit their needs.
Choosing the Best Real Estate Agent
Listen to your gut.
First and foremost, don’t downplay the importance of first impressions or strong emotional responses. Again, your agent is someone with whom you’ll be working closely, and the last thing you want is to be stuck with someone who rubs you the wrong way. Interview at least two or three agents before choosing one, and if there’s someone whose personal style of communication doesn’t mesh with your own, that’s reason enough to decline working with them.
Ask about experience.
Naturally, you want an agent who has a lot of experience helping buyers. In particular, ask if the agent has ever worked in the specific neighborhoods or communities you’re targeting. Ask if they are primarily seller’s or buyer’s agents. Inquire about how long they’ve been in real estate, and how long they’ve been working in your geographic area.
Be clear about your goals.
Do you need to move quickly to find your next home? Do you have some very specific criteria that needs to be met, like a particular school zone or square footage? It’s always best to err on the side of open communication, and to ensure that the agent understands from the outset what’s important to you, the client.
Ask about the contract.
It’s normal for the agent to ask you to sign a contract, and that shouldn’t scare you off; however, you should always clarify exactly what the contract states. How long will you be bound to this agent? What’s the process for getting out of the contract? If worse comes to worst and you simply don’t like working with the agent, be sure to have a clear escape route.
Ask about communication style.
We keep coming back to the notion of communication, and it really is that important. You’re going to want a real estate agent who keeps you in the loop, but also someone who is respectful of your own schedule and communication preferences. Before hiring any agent, ask about how often you can expect to hear from them. Also ask how they typically communicate, whether it’s with a phone call, an email, or a text. Ideally, your agent will ask you how you prefer to communicate, and when it’s a good time for you to connect.
We mentioned online reviews, and those are definitely helpful. However, you also have every right to ask for testimonials or references. Ask the agent if they have any previous clients who can serve as endorsements, and don’t hesitate to actually follow up with them!
All of these steps can help you land a buyer’s agent with whom you can work well, achieving your real estate goals as seamlessly as possible.
Learn More About Buying or Selling Your Own Property
One final note: If you’re on the other side of the equation, looking to get your home sold, we can help you with that, too.
In fact, we invite you to claim your free seller’s report from SOLD.com today. In it, you’ll get personalized recommendations and tips for selling your own house. Not only is the report independent and unbiased, but it’s also available to you completely for free!
What’s stopping you? Take the first step toward getting your house sold when you request your free seller’s report from SOLD.com.