Finding a Good Real Estate Agent
Whether you are looking to buy or sell a house, you need someone to hold your hand and guide you through the entire real estate process. Unlike buying and selling other things, dealing with properties involves a lot of legal issues and other technicalities that require the knowledge of a real estate agent. So, with almost everybody claiming to be a real estate agent these days, how do you find a good one?
The most reliable place to find a good realtor is from other trusted people. Ask friends, colleagues and acquaintances who have used agents before to recommend someone who was good for them.
Make sure you ask them if they would use that realtor again and how their experience with them was like.
Go to open houses
Open houses in your area are a great place to meet real estate agents and interact with them in a casual manner. Pay close attention to how they are showing clients houses, and focus on how professional their demeanor is. If you visit a couple of open houses, you will get a feel of what a good realtor feels and looks like. You will also be able to pick one.
You could also conduct an online search of top real estate firms in your area. In their website, you will get to see profiles of agents, their track record and even contact information. Look for customer reviews, experience and how fast they sell properties.
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Be aware of red flags
No matter where you find a realtor, it’s good to know the signs of a bad real estate agent. Some of the signs include failure to answer or return calls; lack of knowledge in the area, lower rates than other realtors and of course agents who are only part-time realtors.
How to narrow down the choice
So, you have gotten two referrals from friends, gotten one or two from your online search and collected a few business cards in your open house visit. How do you narrow down to just one realtor when you have such a wide array of choices?
- Talk with recent clients. Clients will either be disappointed or very pleased by a realtor they have dealt with. Ask the agent to give you a list of properties he has closed recently so you can talk to those people.
- Check for licenses. Today it’s easy to check for licenses and disciplinary action of any professional online.
- Check credentials. Settle for one who has upgraded their knowledge with certificates like Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyers Representative and Seniors Real Estate Specialist.
- Ask about other houses for sale in the area. Check for someone who has vast and quick knowledge of the area.
The best real estate agent may not be the one who sells most properties but one who is able to listen and understand client’s needs. They should be your friend as much as your agent and must represent you first before anything else.