Hiring an Agent? Do These 4 Things First
If you’re looking to buy the right home, it often starts with hiring the right real estate agent. But how do you determine which agent is the one for YOU?
Narrow down your real estate agent options with these four steps.
1. Read all about ’em
Want to know what it’s really like to work with a specific agent? Get a feel for the experience by reading what past clients have to say about them.
“An agent can tell someone all day long that they’ll work hard for them. But positive reviews from past clients really say it,” says Jeff Bowers, Broker/Owner at RE/MAX Pro Realty in Charleston, South Carolina.
2. Make sure they know their stuff
Homebuying and selling is a competitive space. Understanding the ins-and-outs of what you will face as a buyer or seller is critical, so it’s not a bad idea to have an experienced agent in your court.
“An agent who doesn’t sell many homes a year, or is a part-time agent, is not sharpening their skills and staying on top of the market,” says George Pilant, Managing Broker at RE/MAX Northwest in Tacoma, Washington. “Skill and success requires a mastery of fundamental real estate tasks. Mastery comes through practice and repetition, and a productive agent is continually practicing their craft.”
3. Test their local knowledge
In order to help you buy or sell a home quickly and efficiently, a good understanding of the location you are interested in is key.
“An experienced agent that understands local area/neighborhood dynamics is important. The economy, unemployment, job growth, upticks and downsizes in businesses, traffic, construction and climate all influence real estate market supply and demand, pricing, days on market, concessions, etc. And all feed into the home-buy or home-sale equation,” says Jen Horner, an agent with RE/MAX Masters in Salt Lake City, Utah. “As every real estate market has it intricacies, experience is a must to navigate these dynamics.”
4. Ask the right questions
When interviewing a potential agent, make sure to ask them questions about what to expect from them during the buying/selling process. How often will they communicate with you, how do you get in contact with them? Having a knowledgeable, productive agent is important, but so is having a personable, easy-to-work-with agent.
“A home purchase is a serious investment – most likely a consumer’s largest investment. Therefore, the importance of choosing the right agent is paramount,” says Horner. “Experience is important, but the ability to mesh and have good communication and rapport is critical as well. Do you get the feeling during your interview that the real estate agent is trustworthy and honest? You need to find a Realtor that’s going to work hard for your best interest!”