You have chosen the ideal neighborhood, set your budget, and are ready to make your life’s most significant financial transaction. However, now begins the most important and challenging part—kickstarting your home search. But the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone.
Find a real estate agent who will help you with the task. According to the National Association of REALTORS® Report, 88% of buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent, and for a good reason.
Real estate agents are reliable professionals who are experienced in helping people find their perfect home hassle-free. They will walk you through every aspect of home buying, listen to your priorities, prevent you from wasting time considering properties that don’t fit the bill and safeguard your financial securities to help you secure the best possible deal on your dream home.
Nonetheless, finding the right real estate agent can be a hassle, and it is essential you choose carefully for the best experience. Here are some tips to make choosing the right real estate agent less daunting.
Get Referrals From Friends And Family
Perhaps, the best way to find a great real estate agent is to get referrals from friends and family. When you are drowning in endless options, having someone guide you to a real estate agent with who they have had first-hand experience working is invaluable. For instance, if you are relocating and aren’t well aware of your new neighborhood, ask your employer for a recommendation.
If you receive referrals for several real estate agents, choose someone who went above and beyond to make a lasting impression. For example, an agent who stays in touch with their past clients and checks on them every once in a while can make a big difference.
Additionally, ensure you pay extra care to referrals. Your friends and family might have had different priorities for buying a house. So, an agent perfect for your best friend might not be an excellent fit for you.
Ask About Relevant Certifications And Credentials
Like any other experts who seek to further their to stay on top of advancements in their field, real estate agents have formal certifications and specializations to broaden their skill sets. For instance, some professionals specialize in working with buyers over the age of 50, while others focus on helping buy luxury real estate.
Nevertheless, there are three broad terms you should be aware of—real estate agent, REALTOR®, and a broker. Though some people mistakenly use these terms interchangeably, they mean different things.
- Real Estate Agent – Professionals who are licensed to help people buy and sell residential or commercial real estate.
- REALTOR® – A professional real estate agent who belongs to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Agents should be active in the industry and have no cases of bankruptcy or formal actions against them to become a REALTOR®.
- Broker – A real estate agent with a license from a relevant body in a particular state where they are authorized to work. Generally, brokers own or manage real estate agencies but can work independently. Nonetheless, agents should work under brokers.
So, if you are relocating to such a state, you should work with a qualified agent and check with the relevant authority to see if any complaints are filed against them. This will help you stay on the safer side if you run into problems with your property purchase.
Get To Know The Agents Through An Interview
Interviewing potential agents is the final step to figuring out if they are the perfect choice for you. The important questions to ask revolve around their experience, work history, strategies, and references.
- What experience do you have?
This doesn’t necessarily mean asking the agent how long they have been in the business. Instead, you are looking to learn about how well they know the area you wish to relocate to and the kind of property you are looking to buy. Ask them about the properties they have helped sell in the last three months, for how much, and after how long. Additionally, ask them about the typical offering and selling prices.
Remember that a good agent will never market a property they think is overpriced. So, ask them how often they have had sellers reduce the price of a property to close a deal. An experienced agent should be able to offer you any information you need, along with data to back it up and understand the pulse of the market.
- How will you keep me updated?
Let the real estate agent know your preferred mode of communication—text, phone, or email. Also, ask the agent if they can stick to a regular schedule of detailed written reports, and ensure they can easily be reached and are open to answering your queries.
You should also figure out if there is another responsible person you can reach out to in case your agent is unavailable, such as if they work with a team.
- What’s your fee?
Although there is no standard commission agents can charge, the average is around 3%. This fee is typically paid for by the listing agent and not by the buyer. Be sure to discuss how this works at your interview stage
Take the interview as an opportunity to talk to the agent about any concerns or uncertainties you might have related to the initial research. For instance, an agent might appear to be an ideal fit on the outside. But when you look deeper, you might find that buyers spend more money on homes with that agent. So, if such findings bother you, don’t hesitate to gently ask about those worries.
Begin Your Search For The Right Real Estate Agent
We hope this guide will help you choose the right real estate agent who will lead you to your dream home.
A home purchase is a huge financial as well as an emotional investment. It can also be a stressful experience. A good real estate should be able to take the stress off your shoulder and walk by your side throughout your home-buying journey and beyond.