Buying or selling a home is a significant financial decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is why working with a great real estate agent is vital to getting the best possible deal.
Here are five tips for finding an agent who’s experienced, competent, helpful, and has your best interests as a home seller or buyer in mind:
Tip #1: Ask Your Network for Referrals
Ask family members and friends if they know any real estate agent they can recommend. Ideally, it should be someone they had a blast working with. It should also be an agent who works with clients similar to you. First-time buyers often have different needs from repeat buyers. Same with homeowners looking for a bigger home or aiming to downsize.
Filter through recommendations and look for agents who carry the designated “Realtor” with a capital R. That defines them as members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and means the association’s ethical code binds them.
Tip #2: Scout in Your Dream Neighborhood
You’re not going to need an agent that specializes in NYC properties if you’re looking for homes for sale in Syracuse NY.
Drive through your ideal new neighborhood and see if there are any for sale signs up with real estate agent contact. This is how you can find agents who know the area you are looking to buy a home. The agent will have an in-depth knowledge of local market trends and the best properties on sale that suit your budget and needs.
Tip #3: Vet Potential Agents
You can learn a lot by running a simple Google search. Visit an agent’s website. Check their active and inactive social media accounts. Look out for online reviews. One or two negative reviews isn’t a problem. But anything more than that is worrying.
Check if the agents are licensed with the state regulatory agency. Also, check if they have any disciplinary issues or fines they need to pay.
You can also vet them with the local “Better Business Bureau’s” site to see if other home buyers and sellers have flagged them. You can now shortlist at least three top candidates.
Tip #4: Interview for Experience and Working Style
Now that you have shortlisted at least three potential candidates, it’s time to speak with them. When interviewing these agents, you are looking out for their experience and their working style.
But don’t forget to get a sense of their familiarity with your dream area. You also have an opportunity to discuss the agent’s preferred form of communication and their working hours. If you’re available to check out homes during the weekend, you want an agent who’s available during that period.
Tip #5: Ask for References
Ask each agent to share information on homes they’ve sold or listed in the past 12 months. They should also share the contact information of a few of their clients.
Call the clients and ask what their experience was working with the agent. Plus the level of support the agent provided throughout the buying or selling process. Finally, ask if they would hire the agent again next time.
Buying a new house can be exhilarating, and you might find yourself rushing through the process of signing up a real estate agent. It’s worth taking some time to ensure you get someone who has your best interests at heart and is competent at their job.
It might take longer than you planned to find the house of your dreams, and you want the experience to be one you enjoy.