You crunched the numbers, did your research and your mind is made up. The time is right and you’re ready to buy or sell a home. Exciting! Now all you need is a rockstar real estate agent to ensure your home buying or selling experience goes as smooth as possible. But with about 2 million real estate agents in the U.S. alone, how do you pick the best one for your needs?
1. Ask the right questions.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “well, duh, but what are those questions?” For starters, you’ll want to ask your potential real estate agent the average number of clients they work with at any given time. If your agent is working with many buyers or sellers with needs similar to yours, you may not get the attention you want and deserve.
You should also discuss communication expectations. Will they typically contact you via phone call, email or text message? And how often should you anticipate receiving updates? Everyone has their own personal preference, so you should set your expectations upfront. Lastly, it’s beneficial to ask how they’re equipped to handle your specific situation as a home buyer or seller. For example, are you relocating and need to sell your home right away? Or does your new home need to be within walking distance of a specific location? A good agent will be able to take this information and foresee any potential hurdles that could impact your home sale or purchase.
2. Find someone who knows the area.
A good way to tell if your real estate agent is a neighborhood expert is to ask if they know about other houses on the market in your hometown or the area where you’re looking to buy. If your agent doesn’t seem to know much about the town you’re interested in, or is unaware of important neighborhood info, that could be a red flag. But, if your agent knows the details on homes that are for sale or recently sold, then you can be sure you’re working with a neighborhood expert.
3. Ask how much experience they have.
If a real estate agent has been in the business less than five years, that doesn’t mean they won’t be successful in helping you buy or sell a home. In fact, they could be great at it! But when it’s time to choose your agent, you want to make sure they’re an expert in handling situations like yours. Ask them about their market presence and if they’re actively engaged in your particular area. Also, ask about their connections. A good agent will be able to assist in property inspections, offer advice on improvements and will have a list of vendors to handle any repairs. Connections like this typically come from years of experience on the job and lots of networking.
Following these tips will help you find a great real estate agent who can take you through the home buying or selling process seamlessly. Sure, it may be easy and convenient to use a friend or family member’s referral, but when it’s time to make one of your biggest financial decisions, don’t you want to be sure you’re working with the best of the best?