When engaging in the real estate market, finding the right agent is crucial to making the process as painless as possible. How do you find the right real estate agent for you? You won’t always find the best agent in the largest brokerage, making the most sales, or making the highest commissions. The best agents are willing to listen to your wants and needs, has professional integrity, and has knowledge on the market you’re seeking to buy or sell real estate in. Here are seven tips to helping you find the agent that’s best suited to meet your needs.
These terms are often interchanged but there is a difference. Both Realtors® and real estate agents are licensed to sell real estate as an agent. Only Realtors® display the Realtors® logo and are members of the National Association of Realtors. This has relevance because members of this association have pledged to follow a professional code of ethics outlined in seventeen articles of standards by the association. This is to establish a basis for conduct that is higher than ordinary business practices or practices required by law. Less than half of real estate agents are a part of this association.
Ask a Friend or Family Member for a Referral
Much of a real estate agent’s clientele comes from referrals of other satisfied clients. Many of us know people who have had recent experiences with buying a home and it is especially helpful if you know someone who has had a home buying experience in the local market you’re seeking to buy. Ask people you know about their experience with certain agents. If you find someone who describes an experience where the agent was largely concerned with their satisfaction and was working with them to find the home they were seeking, you should consider being in touch with that agent.
Online Search for Agents
There is no shortage of online web pages that will refer real estate agents in the area you’re looking to shop, but this method of searching for an agent does not guarantee a quality agent. Many of these sites are paid directories where agents have bought their way onto a referral list. A better idea is to use your favorite search engine to look up top real estate companies in your area of interest. Veteran agents will have more experience with property transactions, but newer agents will likely have more time to help you with your questions and concerns.
Make Appearances at Open Houses
If you have free time on a Sunday afternoon, there’s almost always an open house to attend in your area of interest. This is a great opportunity to ask the on-site real estate agent questions about the local market. If you’re considering working with the agent at the open house, be sure to take note of the agent’s professionalism. If the agent is engaging and wants to be helpful, he or she may be a good agent to work with. You’ll want to stay away from agents that read a book in the corner or seem lazy or unknowledgeable when showing the home.
Pay Attention to Individual Agent Turnover
If you take notice in your area of interest when “for sale” signs are going up and when “sold” signs are replacing them, you will gain recognition of what agents are turning houses over the fastest. Some agents can boast having a large number of clients, but how many of those clients have been sitting on their homes for many months at a time? You’ll want an agent that turns houses more frequently over one that has the most clients.
Look for Agents in Print Advertising
In the technologically advanced world we live in, almost all of our searches and advertising come on television and the internet, but this does not mean that using print advertising cannot be effective for finding a good agent. In your local paper you will find specific homes for sale in every weekend edition and accompanying those homes for sale will be a contact for the agent selling those properties. It is likely that if you search real estate in a print ad in your area of interest, you will find a specialist in that area that you can work with for your real estate needs.
Get Referrals from other Agents and Brokers
There are many agents in general areas of cities, towns, and metropolitan areas. Most real estate agents specialize in condensed areas and certain types of real estate from commercial, residential, to investment property and some that only work with new home builders. Local agents often know professional colleagues that specialize in areas that pertain to your interests. Few people will know better who the quality agents are than agents in and around your area of interest. Brokers in the area will also be able to refer you to the best agents. They’ll have first-hand experience working with these agents and can tell you what agents are best to work with.
Between each of these seven ways to search for a real estate agent, you should be able to find an agent that will best suit your real estate needs. Don’t limit yourself to using just a couple or a few of these tips to finding an agent. The more avenues to finding the right agent you explore, the better chance you’ll find just the right agent for you and your real estate needs.
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