How to choose the right real estate agent

Homes & real estate
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How to choose the right real estate agent

Homes & real estate

Would you take tax advice from someone you randomly met on the street?

Hopefully not. When it comes to any major financial move, you need trusted help, and buying a house is one of the most significant decisions you'll ever make. So why would you go it alone?

Finding the right real estate agent will help you navigate the purchasing process while giving you the support and knowledge to best inform each of your decisions. These helpful tips will guide you towards the right real estate agent to help you buy your first home.

You want a trusted partner for a real estate agent when buying your first home.

Ask Friends And Family For Recommendations

Chances are someone you know has purchased a home in the area you are looking, so ask them about their experience with their real estate agent. If you don’t know anyone local, spend some time looking through reviews online. While reviews won’t always give you the whole picture, they can still be a useful way to pare down a list to a few names.

Look Local

You want someone with experience in your local real estate market; they’ll be able to help you navigate municipal requirements and market trends in your new neighborhood. When it comes time to find a home inspector or even a local lender, your agent should be ready with a list of recommendations.

Interview Prospective Agents

Come up with a list of the qualities your ideal agent will have so you can tailor your interviews to your specific needs. For example, if you’re looking for someone who will be readily available when you need them, see how long it takes to schedule an interview, how responsive the agent is, and how easy it is to get in touch with them.

When it comes to the interview, some questions you’ll want to ask include:

  • How long have they been in business?
  • How long have they been working in the area?
  • How will they communicate with you during the process?
  • What is currently on the market in your price range in the area you like?
  • What homes has the agent recently helped buyers purchase in the area, and what were the sales and listing prices?
  • Do they have recent clients that would be willing to speak with you?

With these questions, you’re looking to see if the agent has a trusted track record and you’re testing their knowledge and familiarity with the local area. If they can’t come up with listed properties in your price ranges when you’re sitting in front of them, they may not know as much about the local market as you’d like.

Meet with multiple agents to help select the right one.

Verify Their Credentials

Your real estate agent should be licensed in the appropriate state, and may also be a member of the National Association of Realtors®, in which case they may use the particular designation of Realtor. Verify that all licenses and memberships are up-to-date and accurate.

Find Someone Who Will Work For You

The last thing you want is a real estate agent who thinks of you as a side-note. To find the right agent, it’s important to look for someone who specializes in your type of home search. If you’re looking for a condo yet the agent you chose has always worked with single-family homes, you’d likely be better off looking for someone else. Similarly, if you’re looking in the $200,000-$300,000 price range, an agent who specializes in multi-million dollar estates likely won't give you the attention you need.