It’s time. You have worked hard to get to the point where you are ready to sell your home. Or you have saved up a down payment and improved your credit; you’re ready to buy. Now what? Most people will choose to go through a real estate agent, who knows the area, knows what things are going for, and knows all about the hoops buyers and sellers have to jump through. But how do you choose which real estate agent with which to work? Here are some tips selecting a real estate agent.
It’s a Relationship
You will be working with your agent extensively. One of your priorities should be to find someone with whom you are comfortable. Your agent doesn’t need to be someone you want to be best friends with, but avoid a situation that feels awkward, stiff, too formal, or too informal (depending on your taste). You need to be okay with spending a lot of time with this person.
How to Look
Ask your friends, coworkers, and relatives who have bought or sold a home what they thought of their agent. A personal recommendation carries a lot of weight. Look around your neighborhood or the community where you want to buy, for ‘for sale’ signs, especially those with a ‘sold’ sign added. Turn to Yelp, Google, and Zillow’s agent finder for reviews and star ratings. Look over potential agents’ promotional materials and websites.
Interview 3 Prospects
Most people find one agent and go for it. But it is absolutely worth talking to three or more. Interviewing candidates not only gives you a chance to see how things feel but to ask essential questions. You should assess whether you and your prospective agent are on the same page about the number of viewings and the frequency of communication between you. You also want to know
- if the agent has more experience with buyers or sellers
- how many clients they have at any given time
- what support staff they work with
- if they are part of a team
- and how they might go about marketing your home or matching you with one.
You are also looking for someone who will be frank and forthright about the risks involved with your transaction. If a potential agent glosses over your concerns or downplays negative aspects of a particular home, it might be best to look for someone else.
One of the advantages of a real estate agent is that they should know the area well. Look for someone with expertise in the neighborhoods you are selling or buying in, not just the city or larger area. Your agent should be up to date on the amenities and plusses of a given location and be forthright about its drawbacks.
Now that you have a sense of where to begin your search for a real estate agent look at this article on how to manage your finances when buying or selling properties. Taking the time to make sure you are prepared and have chosen the agent who will best represent your interests will pay big dividends as you buy or sell what may be the largest asset you will own.