Finding the best real estate agent takes time, but picking your agent carefully will pay off in the end. Here’s how to find the best real estate agent.
Contact your network to find the best real estate agent
Going online to find a broker is one of the best ways to go. But if you prefer a more human touch, you’d be well served to simply ask around. Ask people you know who recently bought or sold a house for their opinion.
It’s best to stick with people who have bought and sold a house in the last six months, because real estate trends change quickly. You want to hear from someone who’s been through the process recently, not a long-time homeowner who bought a decade ago.
If you’re selling a home, ask for recommendations from people who have also sold their home recently. If you’re buying a house for the first time, ask other new homebuyers who they’d recommend. Once you have their recommendations, read any reviews and testimonials available online.
Interview your real estate agent ahead of time
Picking the right real estate agent is one of the most important home buying decisions you’ll make. Just like you wouldn’t pick a roofing company without meeting them first, feel free to interview several real estate agents before making a final decision.
If you’re selling, ask a real estate agent for their honest opinion. Do you need to lower your asking price? Do you need to make any significant repairs before putting the home on the market? Is it a seller’s market?
After compiling answers from a few listing agents, you should have a general consensus. If anyone seems overly optimistic or unrealistic, scratch them off your list. You want a real estate agent who’s going to be straightforward and honest with you, even when it’s hard to hear.
What to look for in a real estate agent
The most important quality in a realtor is their responsiveness. In the hot market, most areas are experiencing right now, houses go quickly. Sometimes being the first to make an offer means the difference between snatching your dream house or being left out in the cold.
Ask your friends and acquaintances if their realtor was responsive. Did they answer their phone calls? Do they return emails promptly? It may sound a little needy, but anyone in this industry knows that responsive communication is part of the job.
Knowledgeable about your desired neighborhood
You should also look for a real estate agent who’s familiar with the neighborhood you’re buying or selling in. Someone who knows the neighborhood better is going to be more acquainted with its pros and cons—and how to use those qualities to your advantage.
A full-time agent
Make sure your realtor is a full-time agent, not someone doing it on the side as a hobby. Ask to see their credentials, including their real estate license, how long they’ve been in practice and how many transactions they complete in a month. Since the advent of HGTV, many people have become agents in an attempt to get rich quickly, not realizing it’s a legitimate profession that requires skill.
A realtor is essentially a salesman, but if you’re getting a sleazy or pushy vibe, it might be time to walk away. You should never feel like you’re being pressured to buy a house or accept an offer you’re not comfortable with. If you’re in the negotiating process and the realtor seems to be dismissive of your opinions, you may need to push back.
Finding the best real estate agent takes time, but picking your agent carefully will pay off in the end. Follow these tips above and you’ll be well on your way to finding the best agent that will help you find your dream home, or sell the home you already have.