HOW TO CHOOSE A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Having an informed and caring expert by your side during one of the biggest investments of your life is essential! Purchasing a home involves very important financial decisions, understanding complex issues, and how to safeguard yourself legally as much as possible are all crucial elements to the process. In most cases, hiring an agent to assist you in purchasing is free for the buyer. A buyer agent’s commission is generally paid for by the seller. Why not utilize a free service in such an important transaction!?!
In an overpopulated industry of agents, it can be extremely difficult to choose the best to represent you. We will try to help you know what to look for in an agent, and how to find the right fit for you.
Factors to consider:
- Look for a full-time agent. It is very difficult for a part-time agent to have the experience needed to navigate issues through a transaction.
- Ask neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. and when considering their referrals, determine if they are truly speaking from experience with these agents or they are only referring them as friends. Experience definitely matters!
- Narrow your search to a handful of agents and interview each. Know their background. They may not have years of experience as an agent, but prior business expertise may have prepared them for quick success in the real estate industry. On the flip side, seasoned agents don’t always bring the best to the table, nor does a high sale statistic. Many factors can play into longevity and success in this business, and it’s not always ethical business practices that get them there. Get to know your potential agent and the root of why they do the job.
- Communication with your agent will be key. Pay attention to how quickly and thoroughly an agent responds to you as you inquire. While it’s understandable that no agent can answer their phones 24/7, nor respond to emails immediately, it is appropriate to expect return correspondence in some fashion as soon as feasibly possible.
- Ask about the agent’s current clientele load. If they have a large load of clients, they may not have the time you will need. Ask them if they work alone or if you will be shuffled to a team member. You don’t want to develop a trust and rapport with one agent, only to realize later another will be working with you.
- Be cautious of “sales pitches” or “scripts”. These aren’t genuine agents looking to truly help you with a care and concern for your family and your investment.
- As a Buyer’s Agent, you want to ensure the agent knows the process, knows how to navigate inspections, appraisals, has excellent relationships with lenders, contractors, and other industry partners which may be needed.
- Ask an agent for references from past buyers they have assisted. Again, you want to hear from true clients, not friends helping their agent friends out with a good word.
- It’s important you feel comfortable with your agent, but most importantly trust them to be honest and upfront with you. You don’t want an agent that’s going to tell you what you want to hear or pushes you to fall in love with every home just to make a sale. You want an agent that is helping you make a wise investment with your money and looking out for your best interest. Your agent should walk through each step of the process with you and always make you feel welcome to ask any questions.