Find The Best Real Estate Agent
Melody Johnson4-Minute Read
February 24, 2021
When it comes to buying or selling a home, professional experience pays off. Navigating the financial paperwork is a major endeavor, and you need to find the best real estate agent for the job. If you're new to the home buying process or looking to sell, it can be challenging to know what qualities and factors make someone the best candidate. So, we've narrowed down the key traits of an all-star real estate agent to help you reach your ultimate real estate goals.
Find A Real Estate Agent
Social media posts and billboards are proof that there's no shortage of real estate professionals in your neighborhood, but how do you find a good real estate agent? Before you begin your search, make sure you get preapproved for a home loan. Applying for a mortgage is one of the first steps toward buying a home. Often, real estate agents may not begin working with you until you've received a thumbs up from your lender. Once you have an official preapproval letter, there are several ways to find your perfect match.
- Ask for referrals – If you have a friend or family member who recently bought or sold their home, this is one of the easiest ways to start your search.
- Check local listings – Use Google to review active home listings, which typically show the name of the real estate agent selling the home.
- Research reviews online – In the digital age, reviews are an easy litmus test to see how other clients have rated a real estate agent's working relationships. Try searching Google, Angie's List, Yelp and even Facebook.
- Attend local open houses – Experienced real estate agents who know the neighborhood are worth their weight in gold. Plus, you'll be able to learn more insights not only about the agent but the surrounding area.
- Set up an interview – You won't feel a spark if you don't get out there. It's important to ask questions of your top candidates before things get serious.
- Review the fine print – Not every agent will explain their commission or fees, so make sure you understand how your agent gets paid before it becomes official.
Find A REALTOR®
Before you search online to find a REALTOR®, let's take a look at the difference between REALTORS® and real estate agents. Although they sound similar, there's a significant distinction. A real estate agent is licensed in the state to help their clients buy and sell properties. On the other hand, a REALTOR® is not only licensed but is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), one of the largest trade associations in the United States. REALTORS® must follow a strict code of ethics and have a squeaky clean record to be a member. To find a certified REALTOR®, you can search by name, state, city, and even designation using the NAR database. The National Association of REALTORS® also has thousands of local associations across the country, so you're never too far away from someone who can help.
Selling a home is a complicated process, and finding the right selling agent is an essential piece of the puzzle. A great selling agent, also known as a listing agent, represents you as the seller. If both parties have representation, the listing agent will work alongside the buyer's agent to negotiate pricing, concessions and sometimes repairs. A selling agent's top priority is to list your home, communicate any changes or documents that need to be signed, and provide you with timely details about the closing process. They can guide you through the steps to sell your home so you can move on without a sweat. Think of them as your go-to guide to finding you the perfect buyer. But before you sign on the dotted line, consider asking any potential selling agent these important questions.
- Could you describe your overall marketing strategy?
- What is the average selling price of similar homes in the area?
- Do you have any recommendations about staging my home?
- Do you have recommendations for photographing my home?
- Can you explain your commission percentage and any other fees?
How To Choose A Real Estate Agent
Just because your aunt swears by her agent, doesn't mean it's a perfect fit for you, too. Choose a real estate agent who fits your needs. Once you narrow down your selections, it's time to set up a quick interview to understand their experience and background. Buying or selling a home is a significant investment of time and money, so having an empathetic listener is an essential part you don't want to overlook. Consider if they make you feel at ease about the process without ignoring the risks associated with buying or selling a home. Look beyond a long resume and listen carefully to how they explain each step of the process. Having an advocate who can clear up confusing details and negotiate better pricing and concessions on your behalf is much better than choosing someone simply because they have years of experience or a cheaper rate.
Finding The Right Agent For You
When it comes to finding a good real estate agent, the best fit is often someone who places your needs as a top priority. Getting to the bottom of how to choose a real estate agent all depends on your preferences for professional expertise and communication style. After weeks of looking at Google and Yelp reviews, attending open houses, and asking for referrals – sometimes it's as simple as following your gut. Chemistry can go a long way when difficult conversations arise, so finding the right agent won't look the same for everyone. It's crucial to find someone who can combine experience with exceptional listening and communication skills. Negotiation skill set aside, you'll need someone who can clearly and patiently explain each step to you. Once you consider these tips on how to choose a real estate agent, you'll have the confidence you need to find the perfect home.
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