The world of real estate can be daunting, and it’s crucial to ensure that you assemble a savvy and knowledgeable team to help you. This is especially true when buying rather than renting, as these deals represent a massive commitment that will impact your day-to-day life for years to come. One of the most important things during the home buying process is to find a real estate agent you trust. A good real estate agent can guide you through all the paperwork and narrow down listings based on your criteria. Here are some tips to help you find the best real estate agents in your area.
Ask your network for recommendations
The real estate industry relies heavily on word of mouth, and one of the best ways to be connected with a good real estate agent is to tap into your friends and family network. Before starting your home search, you should reach out to friends and families and ask about the agents they’ve worked with. This is a great starting point for identifying potential candidates. If you’re currently renting, you can check in with your landlord or property manager to see if they’ve had positive experiences working with specific agents in your complex or on their other properties.
It’s surprisingly easy to earn a real estate license, so plucking any licensed real estate agent off of the street is not generally a wise move. While there are many reputable newer agents available, some people may wish to work with a Realtor who has several years’ worth of work under their belt.
Typically, the more experience an agent has, the more knowledgeable they are about the area, current market trends, and selling process. They are more likely to provide the expertise you need than your cousin, who got her license online as a quarantine project. It’s even more useful if they have experience with the type of home you’re looking for. If you’re looking to buy your first co-op apartment, for example, having a realtor who is skilled at dealing with co-op boards will be a great boon.
It helps to know the area
Be sure to look for a Realtor who is familiar with the neighborhoods you’re considering. They are more likely to possess a working knowledge of the properties in the area and may have relationships with local property managers from previous sales. In a city, many agents specialize in a handful of neighborhoods and have relationships with building personnel and local real estate developers. They can therefore provide insider knowledge on what amount to submit on an offer, how to appeal to the sellers, etc. Those who work in towns or smaller communities may have an even more substantial pulse on the entire area and can provide additional information. This may be more important if you want to move to that area from a different location.
Be sure to check out real estate listings on sites like RealtyHop to get a sense of which realtors are active in the areas you’re looking at. You can even utilize the Top Agent Search feature to find local real estate agents with the most deals or largest volumes of transactions.
They should be busy, but not too busy
A stacked list of clients indicates that a real estate agent is skilled at their job and has established a name for themselves. An agent who actively works with several clients at a time constantly builds experience and has a strong pulse on the current market. If they’re working with several buyers at a time, that also likely means they can successfully handle that workload and therefore know how to effectively guide you through the buying process.
However, you also don’t want your agent to be too busy to get back to you in a timely matter. If an agent does have a heavy workload, you should make sure that they don’t simply hand off matters involving your home search to a less-qualified assistant. Be sure to check in with your candidates to confirm that they’ll be practicing a hands-on approach at every step of the process. You can inquire about the different members of their team and ask for their qualifications and experience.
If an agent does utilize the help of an assistant, you can check to see if that assistant is a licensed agent by asking for their license number. An assistant with a license may have less expertise, but you know they are also serious about real estate and dedicated to helping their lead agent.
Communication is key
Your real estate agent should be someone that you feel absolutely comfortable discussing all of your questions and concerns with. During consultations with your candidates, make sure it feels you’re both on the same page when it comes to what you’re looking for in your new home. Also, while it’s easy to convince yourself that a fast-talking, pugnacious real estate agent is more likely to push a deal through, it’s important to remember that negotiations tend to go more smoothly when the involved parties are both personable and amicable. You’ll be collaborating closely with your agent, so it pays to ensure they’re someone you enjoy working with.
Things like a buyer’s checklist may be a useful tool to help a real estate agent understand what you’re looking for and assess whether they’ll be able to assist you. To ensure a smooth process, you should also have a basic understanding of your finances. Many agents have specific price ranges they focus on and can offer individualized expertise based on the budget they’re familiar with. Therefore, buyers should disclose their budget to the agents they plan to work with to guarantee they find someone who is comfortable with their price point.
Finding a real estate agent is a crucial part of the home buying process. Therefore, those looking to purchase property should approach this step cautiously and ensure they feel comfortable with the agent they want to work with. This person will become an important part of your life throughout the selling process, and they should have your full trust and attention every step of the way.
To find out more about qualified agents in your area, refer to the RealtyHop Top Agent Search.