How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent For Buying Or Selling
Whether you are wanting to buy or sell a home, the process includes a huge financial commitment. Therefore, it is important that you find a real estate agent that can help you successfully navigate all of the paperwork and rules that accompany this endeavor. Fortunately, there are usually a large number of real estate agents available in any one particular area. However, choosing an agent requires you to do more than just look at online reviews or meet them in person and see if you like them.
One of the first things you should do is ask your family and friends for a recommendation. A referral from someone you know who had a good experience with a real estate agent will be better than selecting an agent at random. However, you should confirm that any recommended real estate agent is experienced in helping clients with needs similar to yours. For example, the needs of a homeowner who wants to downsize versus the needs of a first-time buyer will differ greatly.
2. Online search
In addition to asking for referrals, you should look online for reviews of real estate agents in your area. Reading reviews left by former buyers or sellers is a great way to get to know about the pros and cons of working with a potential real estate agent. For instance, UpNest is a comparison site that provides in-depth information about any real estate agent in your area. There are plenty of UpNest reviews proving their competence.
Additionally, you should look for an agent classified as a Realtor. Being a Realtor indicates that the individual is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This distinction means that the individual has formally agreed to uphold a code of ethics.
There are additional certifications a real estate agent can hold that indicate he or she has completed training in a specific area.
- Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
- Accredited Buyer’s Representatives (ABR)
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
- Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)
As additional certifications are not required, a real estate agent who completes these types of training will likely provide superior services.
3. Interview and references
It is important that you interview at least three to four agents as this will give you a good idea of each agent’s experience and style. You can also learn a lot about how each agent will represent you by simply listening to the presentation regarding what the agent can do for you. For instance, the more polished an agent indicates a level of professionalism that will carry over when the person is working for you.
Additionally, the interview is your opportunity to ascertain how experienced the real estate agent is. This is also the time to learn about the type of communications you can expect when showings will be scheduled, and if the agent is a good fit for your needs.
You should also research any potential real estate agent’s online presence. Things to look for include how the agent uses social media to promote listings. Checking an agent’s online profile will also allow you to check the quality of the agent’s website. You should also check with your state’s real estate regulator to determine if there have been any complaints lodged or disciplinary actions made against an agent you are considering.
Once you have decided on an agent, you should ask for and check references. A reputable Realtor will be able to provide you with information regarding the homes he or she has listed and sold within the past year. You should also be given a few recent clients to contact to learn about their experience with the real estate agent and whether or not they recommend working with the agent.
Even with a knowledgeable agent to help you through the process, buying or selling a house can be rather stressful. Because of this stress, it is important that you feel comfortable with your choice. In fact, even if a potential real estate agent hits all the checkmarks, so to speak, if you get a feeling that something is off, you should keep looking.
If you change your mind at any time after you have chosen your real estate agent and before you are under contract, it is okay to end the relationship. Ultimately, the agent works for you.