Venturing into the world of real estate isn’t for the faint of heart. Regardless of whether you’re buying a new build or you’re selling your home for cash, you aren’t going to want to go it alone. You need to have a real estate agent on your side so that you aren’t getting screwed and that you’re getting the best deal possible.
So, how do you find the right real estate agent for you? We’ve gathered a few tips from top agents to help you how to go about finding that special someone… er… special agent!
Research top selling agents in your area
If you need your car repaired, you don’t go to just any mechanic do you? No, you go to someone who comes recommended by people in your network, you do some Googling and read Yelp reviews. This is the same kind of research you should do when you’re looking for a real estate agent.
If you know someone who has recently bought or sold a house, ask them about their experience with their agent. If that’s not an option, you can go onto your community’s Facebook group and ask people in your community. You can use Google or any other search engine, too!
Interview three or four agents before choosing one
Once you find a few agents that you think you’d like to work with, reach out to them to see if you could set up an appointment for an interview. During this interview, you’ll want to ask them questions like:
- How long have you been an agent?
- How many transactions have you closed?
- How many clients do you have right now?
- How much would it cost to sell my home (without a net proceeds calculator)?
Request and check references
Along with the aforementioned questions, you should ask the agents if they have a list of references that you could contact. A good agent should have at least a few people that are willing to answer questions regarding their experience. Once you do get that list, contact the references and ask them about their experience, how well the agent negotiated on their behalf, and if they’d use them again in the future.
Listen to your intuition
Sometimes the agent may look great on paper and the references have nothing but good things to say about the agent. However, if during the interview you get a strange feeling in your stomach that something isn’t right… Don’t ignore it. Buying and selling a house is a huge commitment that requires careful consideration and if the chemistry between you and the agent is off, the experience is not going to be a pleasant one.
Read your contract thoroughly
The contract the agent gives you should clearly outline the terms of your agreement. This should include the agent’s commission, which is usually near or at 6%, their scope of work, how you can get out of the contract, and so one. If you have any questions about the terms, you can ask the agent or the broker to clarify, or you could contact a real estate lawyer (but that isn’t a common practice).
Choosing a real estate agent is one of the very first things you need to do before venturing into the real estate market, but if you’re a buyer, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage first. When you’re working with a top-selling agent, you can rest assured that they’ll go that extra mile to get the deal done as quickly and efficiently as possible.