Regardless of if you are buying or selling a home, you are likely going to need to work with a professional real estate agent to get the job done. Finding the best realtor for your needs can be a challenging task if you do not have a plan in place. Here are five tips to help you to select the best real estate agent for your needs and personal preferences.
Ask for Recommendations
Most people land on a realtor simply through word of mouth. Your friends and family who have gone through this process before will likely be your best source of information as you narrow your own search for a real estate agent. Ideally, you will want to find a professional who has experience working with someone like you.
For example, if you are a first-time home buyer, you will want to find a realtor who understands the specific needs of this demographic. Conversely, if you are looking to downsize and retire, a realtor with experience working with this specific clientele may be better suited to understand your situation.
Research, Research, Research
There is a surprising amount of information that you can learn simply by doing some online research on potential realtors. Start your research with checking out their web presence. This also includes looking into their social media accounts to see how they present themselves and their business.
You can also check to make sure there are no disciplinary actions or red flags levied against the candidates that you are considering. Your local Better Business Bureau website is a good source to use when vetting your possibilities.
Interview Potential Candidates
Before you decide on a real estate agent, you need to do your due diligence and research and interview the possible candidates. Be sure to have your questions prepared ahead of time so that you can glean as much information as possible out of the interview. A good question to ask for buyers is how the realtor plans on helping you find your dream home. If you are selling, be sure to ask them how they would market your house to get top dollar.
A good goal is to shoot to interview at least potential real estate agents. You do not want to choose the first person you interview just because the interview process is laborious. Going through a few candidates will ensure that you feel confident in your final selection. This is also a good time to ask the candidates for references.
Look for Market Knowledge
Any realtor worth your time will have an extensive base of knowledge about the market and your particular community. This knowledge of housing market news will help them to guide your decision-making process when it comes to what to offer for a home or how to price your own.
Savvy real estate professionals keep abreast of the latest market changes so that they can relay that data to their clients. A trusted real estate agent will also be able to use this knowledge to advise you when you should pull the trigger and list your home or when you may want to hold off until market conditions improve.
A good realtor is more than just someone who understands the market. The best in the business are also personable and trustworthy. You should never feel as if you are not valued as a client or that your time is not important. Since you will be in nearly daily contact, it is also important to find a realtor who has a similar communication style as you.
You are going to want to hire someone who will appeal to a wide variety of personalities. Remember that it is not just you who will be dealing with this realtor. It could also be the potential buyers of your home, making it important that you pick a realtor who has an attractive personality.
In the end, you want to go with your gut to make the final decision. You will be working with this person for a considerable amount of time in the months to come, making it important that you choose someone who you get along well with and who values your time.