What do I look for? Where do I look?
Selling or buying a home can be exhausting, and will most likely be one of the largest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. With all that is at stake, finding a great real estate agent can make or break your home buying/selling experience, and ultimately save you valuable time and resources. The only catch: not all real estate agents are created equal.
With the incredible amount of promotional material from real estate agents being cast out in today’s world, whether it be a commercial on TV, an online ad, a billboard, etc., it has become increasingly difficult to filter out the noise of advertisement and find an agent that is truly right for you. Below, we have gathered the top tips to find real estate agents that will provide you with the most value, and sell your home quickly.
- Do your research. Check reviews on websites, monitor social media accounts, research on the Better Business Bureau website to see if there are any red flags or concerns that would disqualify your candidate.
- Attend open houses. Get a face-to-face experience with agents before you consider doing business with them. If you are selling your home, this gives you an idea of how involved in the selling process the agent is. Look for agents who have great home-promotion materials, and who are readily available to answer questions for would-be buyers touring the open house.
- Get advice from the people you know and trust. Getting a word-of-mouth referral from someone you trust is a great lead to find an agent, because this person will (normally) be very truthful with you about the experience they had with their agent, and bring up any complications they came across in the buying/selling process.
- Request references from your agent. A good agent should have no problem giving you references from buyers/sellers they have worked with in the past. These references will be able to tell you their personal experiences dealing with the agent, and are usually a good indication of an agents trustworthiness. If your agent refuses to give you any references, this could be a major red flag.
- Make sure your agent is legally licensed. Look up your agent’s name or real estate license number, just to be sure they are legitimate. With scammers making thousands of phone calls a day posing as real estate agents, it’s best to verify the person you are talking to is who they say they are.
- Be weary of lower commissions. While lower commision rates are ideal for a seller/buyer, you need to ensure that the amount and quality of services provided by the agent will still be the same. An agent offering a low commission rate, may be offering fewer services.
- Ask your agent how long they have been in the real estate business. While a short amount of time in the business does not necessarily mean your agent is not qualified to sell your home, longevity in the business is normally a great indication to the quality of an agent. If a real estate agent has been doing business for 20 years, chances are they have been doing something right, and are incredibly knowledgeable in their respective fields.
- Find an agent who knows the area. When buying or selling a home, it’s always great to find an agent who can give you the small details of the neighborhood. Tips on the best schools, routes to work, and other local knowledge will most likely be left out by an agent who lives far away from the area.