How to choose a real estate agent

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Buying or selling a home is a big deal. Here’s how to choose the right real estate agent to help you navigate the process. (iStock)

Selling or buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. This is why many people find it helpful to get a recommendation from a licensed real estate agent. In 2020, 88% of buyers bought their homes and 89% of sellers sold their homes with the help of a real estate agent or broker, according to the report. National Association of Realtors

Real estate agents are very helpful. An experienced listing agent is your expert on home prices in your area who can list your home at its fair market value. A good real estate agent also negotiates on your behalf and prepares the paperwork for you.

Be you buying or selling Your home, here’s how to choose the real estate agent that’s right for you.

What should I look for in a real estate agency?

The right real estate agent is someone with the experience you can trust to help you conduct your real estate transaction with integrity. Here are some important qualities your agent should have.

  • License – The first step in finding a reputable agent is to contact your state’s real estate department to check if your agent is licensed. Be sure to check to see if they have received any complaints and have not been disciplined.
  • Full-time – If your agent is selling homes part-time, how do you think they will feel when it comes time to negotiate with a permanent agent who is in the trenches every day? If they are in their main job or unavailable for other reasons, it may be more difficult for them to deal with the inevitable problems that arise.
  • Outstanding communicator. In a real estate transaction, everything happens quickly, and many tasks need to be solved promptly. To this end, you will be in constant contact with your real estate agent, so it is imperative to have an agent who will actively communicate and respond effectively to correspondence.
  • I know technology – Nine out of 10 home buyers refer to the Internet as the primary source of information, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). A good agent should be well versed on the Internet and be able to present your home to potential buyers on the Internet. A buyer’s agent needs to be able to view ads every day to make sure you know immediately when your dream home is on the market.

Visit Credible to contact real estate agents in your market.

How do I find a real estate agent?

A quick way to find licensed real estate agents is search in the national database Realtor.comoperated by NAR. You can also find local agents by checking state and local councils of realtors

Go to open houses to check out the local housing market.

Perhaps the most obvious place to find a real estate agent is to drive around your area and look for “for sale” lawn signs advertising open houses and sold homes.

Speak to an agent in person at open house days

Open house days can also be an opportunity to network with real estate agents. After attending a few open house days, you will have the opportunity to speak with the agents who sell these homes. You can meet an agent that you like and who will check all the items you need.

Get referrals from your network

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find references. Ask your family or closest friends who they recommend or not and why. Referrals are not 100% reliable, but they can be a great way to choose a real estate agent.

Compare Online Real Estate Agents

One of the quickest ways to view a list or list of buying agents in your area is to search for “your city + real estate agent” on the Internet. Your search will not only return a list of agents in your area, but many of them will have multiple reviews and ratings attached to their names for you to compare.

Find agents Zillow The tool is another good resource for finding and comparing agents, which shows the agent’s license number, specialty, and star rating.

Finally, most real estate agents today maintain an online presence, ranging from a simple business Facebook page to an extensive website with resources for buyers and sellers. As you focus on the agents you like, check their websites or social media to get a feel for how they represent themselves professionally.

TO find a real estate agent in your market, you can search the Credible database of over 90,000 agents.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Once you’ve found a few agents you might want to work with, here are a few criteria to consider when choosing.

Determine the appropriate certifications

Make sure your real estate agent lists his title as “Realtor” with a capital “R”, otherwise you may see the “R” block logo next to his name. The difference between a realtor and a real estate agent is that a realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors and is bound by the organization’s code of ethics.

Many realtors have additional certifications, which means they have completed additional courses and training in a specific specialty. Although each state has its own requirements for realtors, here are some standard designations that you can find:

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR): This is the designation for agents who represent home buyers.
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS): This certification aims to raise professional standards in the real estate industry and is considered a primary purpose for seller agents.
  • Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES): The SRES designation indicates that the agent has received additional training to better serve buyers over 50.

Ask the right questions to your real estate agent

It is important to interview at least a few agents so that you can compare them and choose the right professional for you. Here are some questions.

  • How many years of experience do you have in real estate? You want to make sure that you are not your agent’s first customer and that they have enough experience to negotiate competently and complete your transaction smoothly.
  • How many clients do you have now? IN active real estate market, an agent without clients can be a red flag. On the other hand, your agent may not have enough time for you if they have too many clients.
  • Do you specialize in dealing with buyers or sellers? Many real estate agents wear both hats and represent buyers and sellers with the same efficiency. But if your agent mainly works with sellers and you are a buyer, chances are that the agent may assign another agent to his team to work with you.
  • How will you sell my house? A professional listing agent should provide you with a presentation detailing how they will value and sell your home in order to get the best chance of a buyer buying your home at the best price.
  • Do you have a few recommendations that I can contact? Any decent agent will anticipate this question and have contact information on hand for at least a couple of links.

Explain your preferred communication method

If you prefer to call or email but your realtor prefers text messaging, this may not be the best option. Remember that you will be in contact with your agent often – often several times a day. If the communication is harder than it should be, this can be a recipe for frustration.

If you are selling, please clarify your motivation

If you are looking for a realtor to sell your home, it is important to explain to him why you are selling. Are you downsizing, upgrading and / or relocating?

When you clearly define your schedule, goals, and motivation, your agent will have the necessary direction to achieve your goals. For example, if you need to reach a certain threshold of the selling price, your agent should know this in advance.

Total for real estate

Real estate professionals can help you find your dream home, but you will need the right one mortgage lender finance it. Credible makes it easy to get advance rates from reputable lenders in minutes and disclose lenders’ commissions so you can make an informed decision and choose the best agent for you.

Credible also offers real estate agent matching tool in addition to its mortgage options.

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