Buying a new home is one of the biggest investments that you will ever make. That being said, the stress level and emotional commitment involved can be very overwhelming. One of the best things you can do when you begin hunting for your new home is to enlist the help of a experienced and knowledgeable Realtor. By doing a little bit of research on your own you will quickly discover all the benefits that come with working with a seasoned real estate professional. The big question is, “How do you locate a Realtor that you will be comfortable working with?”. Here are 5 tips that can help you narrow down your Realtor Search.
1. Ask family and friends.
One of the best ways to find a trustworthy real estate agent is by simply asking family and friends if they know of anyone that is a Realtor. Their feedback would be invaluable, especially if this individual has recently sold or purchased a home. Word of mouth referrals are still one of the biggest ways Realtors gain new clients. By reaching out to individuals that have worked with a specific real estate agent you will be able to gain true insight as to how the real estate agent works, and how they interact with the clients.
2. Look online.
The Internet is a powerful tool that you can use to search out and screen potential real estate agents. There are multiple websites you can visit where any real estate agent’s reviews and production numbers are supplied. Also, a simple Google search can yield multiple Realtors in your area. One word of caution though, the information supplied on the Internet may not be the most accurate or up to date. The internet, in my opinion, should be used as a general means of locating a pool of real estate agents that you can then further research. Also, keep in mind, that just because you see a specific agent’s ad plastered all over multiple sites doesn’t necessarily make them a good agent. This just shows that they invested money into promoting themselves.That being said, don’t take everything you see online at face value. Do your research!
3. Interview multiple agents.
This step seems to be the most overlooked. Most people tend to go with the first agent they are exposed to, be it via a family member, someone’s name they saw online or from a real estate sign. I always recommend that buyers choose 2 or 3 different agents and actually take the time to sit down with them to discuss the Realtor’s experience and what they can offer their clients. Don’t be afraid to ask how long have they been practicing real estate or how many homes they have sold, and what areas they specialize in. In addition, let the agent know you’re interviewing a few other Realtors in order to decide who you will finally work with. This is another great way to gauge the personality of the agent. If you see his or her demeanor change once they know they’re in competition with other Realtors, it may be a warning sign as to where their interests lie. A seasoned and ethical Realtor will not have any issues with you interviewing other agents. They know that buying a home is a very complex and expensive investment. They will understand the need for the buyer to be sure of who they wish to work with.
4. Work with someone you get along with.
Looking for a home does take time, it could take anywhere from a week to multiple months. You want to make sure you’re working with an individual that besides knowing the ins and outs of real estate, has a personality that you are compatible with. This will make the experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Otherwise, if you are working with somebody you really don’t get along with you will be second guessing every piece of advice they offer you.You must have trust! Which, in all honesty, is one of the main benefits of working with a Realtor.
5. Don’t just go for the big companies.
Don’t get me wrong big real estate companies are a great resource to find real estate agents. Many of them have in-depth training programs and a network of experienced managers that can aid the agent. Regardless, I wouldn’t solely choose a Realtor based on the company he or she works under. There are many independent brokerage firms that can be just as good as any of the larger companies. In my experience, many of these smaller firms’ brokers have a lot more experience than some of the Realtors that work for the bigger companies. The reason behind this is because many of the newly licensed agents tend to gravitate to these “Big Box”‘ companies. It takes an experienced agent to go off on their own and establish an independent company. These independent brokers are usually very picky as to who they hire. The fact of the matter is that they do not have the time to invest in training a brand new agent. So they seek out seasoned and ethical agents that will help grow their company in a positive manner.
At the end of the day the best advice I can give is to do your homework. Don’t automatically work with the first agent to cross your path, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make sure you trust the individual that is going to be helping you find your new home. Oh.. and last but not least, seek out an agent that will not be afraid to voice their own opinion regarding the homes you will be viewing or terms of the contract you will be negotiating. Having a yes man/women agent may make you feel good but you will not be helping yourself. At the end of the day, the decisions involved in a purchasing a home will be yours. Nonetheless, the main reason you should be working with a Realtor in the first place is to tap into their expertise.
By: Virgilio Maldonado