Whether you are looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, finding the perfect Realtor can be a daunting task. There are a lot of options, but not all Realtors are created equally. Here are some tips to ensure you have the best representation.
Where to Look
Recommendations from friends and family are a great place to start your search for a Realtor. There are a lot of agents and it helps to narrow down your search with the help of people from your trusted circle. The majority of our clients chose to hire us from the recommendations of their friends and family.
Searching Online is a good way to find a Realtor, especially if you are moving to an area where you do not know anyone. Be sure to read reviews.
Ask a Realtor. We have a large network of professionals that we are connected with throughout the country. Whenever we have a client moving out of area, we are always able to connect with them with a few trusted partners and save them the hassle of having to shop for an agent.
What to Ask
Do they work in real estate full time? Not all Realtors work in the industry full time. Some have part time or full time jobs outside of real estate. Typically, when someone chooses a part-time Realtor, they are working with a friend. This is not always a bad thing, but keep in mind that your Realtor will have limited availability and this may mean you will be delayed in viewing properties and writing offers. It is best to assess how quickly homes are selling in your market before committing to a part time agent.
Do they work on a team or solo? This is an important question to ask so you know who you will be communicating with and what their availability will be. Oftentimes, teams will specialize in each avenue of the process. A solo agent might not have as much time to spend with a client because they have more responsibilities. There is no right or wrong choice, just the choice that is best for you. Be sure you clearly understand how your preferred Realtor operates.
How much experience do they have? It is a good idea to find out a Realtor’s level of experience before hiring them. Experience is not just how many years they have been in the business but how many people they have helped buy and sell real estate over the past couple of years. There is also nothing wrong with hiring a new agent. All of the best Realtors were new at one point. You will just want to make sure that they are working closely with an experienced mentor.
What is their process? Whether you are buying or selling, your Realtor should be able to provide you with an overview of what to expect during the process. Even if you have purchased a home before, you will need to know how your agent operates and any changes that may have occurred since the last time you bought or sold a home.
What is your local market experiencing? This question is very important. Most of the real estate information that we consume is on a national level. Much of the national level information does not apply to local markets. Make sure that your Realtor is able to explain specifically what is happening in your community.
What Makes a Good Realtor
Do they listen to and understand your goals? A good Realtor will take the time to listen to you and understand your goals.
Did they provide you with a consultation? A consultation is a key step in understanding your goals. A good realtor should take a small amount of time to explain the market and the process prior to showing homes.
Do you like how they communicate? Buying and selling real estate is likely to be the largest transaction of your life. You should feel comfortable communicating with your Realtors.
Are they quick to answer your questions? Find someone that will answer all your questions in a timely manner.
Are they realistic? The best Realtors are realistic and willing to tell you the reality of the market. Even shoppers with the largest budgets have to compromise on their wish lists. Your Realtor should be an ally in helping you make these decisions.
Do they provide you with resources and information? Look for a Realtor that has the tools and information to make the process as smooth as possible. This can be anything from home search tools to marketing and local market information.
What Comes Next?
Listen to Tia’s quick podcast on what to expect when you hire a realtor HERE.