5 Things to Look for When Picking a Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home can be an exciting time, and a means for a new adventure. People looking to buy or sell include first-time homeowners or those who have purchased a number of homes. 

Finding a real estate agent can help the buyer or sellers in a number of ways that can include the listing amount, house viewings, providing support through the process, helping the buyer understand why a certain home may work best for your family and more. Looking for the right real estate agent can be intimidating and anyone looking to buy may be nervous, but knowing what to look for can make the process more smooth.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, here are 5 things to look for when picking a real estate agent to work with.

Chemistry

Like any relationship, chemistry matters. Upon meeting a realtor there are things to ask yourself such as:

  • Can you see yourself spending time with this person
  • Do they appreciate your personality
  • Do you feel comfortable about them-this is important as sharing important information like finances 

When finding a realtor that is a good fit, don't rush to sign anything. Get to know this individual on a personal and professional level before committing to a contract. Questions to ask the agent can include their neighborhood expertise, figure out if their market is about them or the properties, is your gut saying this individual is honest? Interview a number of agents before deciding the best one for you and your wants/needs.

It is the person, not their experience

It might be natural to lean towards an agent with the most experience but this isn’t always the best option. A great asset to look for in real estate agents is their ability to talk and negotiate as they will be the ones helping any homebuyer negotiate a selling price on the home they are interested in purchasing. As someone who is looking to buy or sell, it is important to remember you will be around your agent quite a bit so choosing a person everyone is comfortable with is crucial. It won’t be a pleasant experience if an agent has an abundance of experience but isn’t compatible with the one who hired them.

It can lead to trying to get out of a contract and find a new agent which may not be the easiest solution. 

Another crucial aspect to look into is their online presence. It is no surprise to anyone that we live in a technological age, with more and more transactions and “first-impressions'' being started online. Having an agent who knows how to market themselves and properties is a good indicator of how they will be handling your home if selling. 

For purchases, having a well-connected agent is imperative as they are able to be “in the know” regarding upcoming properties and potential homes. 

Related Post: 1st Time Home Buyer Checklist!

Strong Core Values

Strong core values are important when choosing any type of relationship whether it be personal or professional. Core values are what a person believes to be important in the way they live. They determine your priorities; a real estate agent with strong core values should be putting the priorities of their clients first.  

Finding someone who has the same core values is important. If honesty is a value you have, having an agent who provides honesty and transparency is someone a buyer or seller can mesh well with. 

Check References

A good agent with a reputable image will have no issue providing a potential client with a list of clients they have worked with in the past. While interviewing a potential agent, and they aren’t willing to give references, that is a red flag that can not be ignored. 

Asking to provide a list of homes they have helped sell in the past year as well as a list of a few clients they have worked with and their contact information. A client of a real estate agent is essentially being their boss. An agent works for the client, so doing reference checks is not uncommon; don’t be afraid to ask questions. Questions to ask during a reference check:

  • Their experience with the agent
  • Would they hire them again 
  • Were there any major concerns
  • Type of support that was offered during negotiations 
  • Did they listen to the wants and needs of the client 

If the reference checks don’t pan out, it might not be worth the risk-taking on the agent; there are a number of agents to interview and in time the right one will be found. 

The Contract

This is the legal agreement between buyer and agent and is a common practice when getting into real estate whether you are buying or selling. Once the contract is signed the agent is ready to represent the client. 

A contract will spell out the terms of the agreement which have already been agreed upon. Typical things to look for in a contract is the length of the contract. An agreement that is less than six months is ideal, and if it is longer, consider choosing a different agent. More things to look for include:

  • Services that will be provided
  • Which type of property is being requested by the buyer as well as the location 
  • The commission price as well as how it will be distributed 
  • The process of getting out of the agreement 

It is important to hire a real estate agent when purchasing a new home as they are there to ensure the buyer is getting the best deal on the wanted property. A buyer, or seller,  may not have the experience or skills to negotiate or know where to begin when looking for the right property or sell their own. 

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