By: Raymond James
About the Author:
Ray is a sought-after thought leader and an expert in financial and money management. He has been published and featured in over 50 leading sites and aims to contribute articles to help novice financial planners. One of his goals is to impart his knowledge in finance to educate and help ordinary people create and achieve their financial goals.
Most people turn to a real estate agent or agency like Hunter Gather for help when buying or selling a home. But with so many agents out there, how do you choose the right one?
These 12 simple tips will help you find an expert real estate agent who can help you navigate the complex world of property transactions and get the best deal possible.
1. Make sure the agent is licensed.
To be a real estate agent, one must first obtain a license from the state where they will practice. This process includes taking and passing an exam on state-specific real estate laws. Licensed agents must also take continuing education courses to keep their knowledge up-to-date. You can check to see if an agent is licensed by contacting your state’s real estate commission or department.
2. Ask for referrals.
If you know someone who has recently bought or sold a home, ask them for referrals to good real estate agents. People are usually happy to share their experiences, both good and bad. This is a great way to get some first-hand information about an agent’s performance.
3. Check online reviews.
In addition to personal referrals, you can also read online reviews of real estate agents. Sites like Zillow and Trulia have review sections for individual agents, so you can get a sense of other people’s experiences. Just be aware that some people are more likely to write a review if they had a bad experience, so take the reviews with a grain of salt.
4. Look for an agent with experience.
When it comes to buying or selling a home, experience counts for a lot. A seasoned agent will have seen it all and know how to handle any situation. They’ll also have a network of contacts that they can rely on, which can come in handy when you’re looking for a good deal on a property.
5. Ask about the agent’s marketing plan.
When you’re selling a home, you want to ensure it’s getting exposure to as many potential buyers as possible. Ask your agent about their marketing plan and what they will do to ensure your home is seen by as many people as possible.
6. Make sure the agent is familiar with your area.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a property in a specific area, it’s important to find an agent who knows that area well. They’ll be familiar with the local market and will know what properties are worth. They’ll also know about any upcoming developments that could impact the value of your property.
7. Ask about the agent’s commission.
When you’re selling a property, the real estate agent’s commission will come out of the proceeds from the sale. Most agents charge a standard commission of 5-6%, but some may charge more or less depending on the situation. It’s important to ask about this upfront so there are no surprises later on.
8. Get a sense of the agent’s personality.
You’ll be working closely with your real estate agent, so finding someone you get along with is important. Take some time to meet with an agent and get a sense of their personality. Do they seem like someone you can trust? Are they easy to communicate with? Do they have your best interests at heart?
9. Ask about the agent’s connections.
A good real estate agent will have a network of contacts that they can rely on, from other agents to home inspectors to loan officers. This can come in handy when you’re trying to get a good deal on a property or get through the buying process as quickly as possible.
10. Make sure the agent is responsive.
You should be able to get ahold of your agent when you need to. If you try to contact them and don’t hear back for days, that’s not a good sign. When you’re buying or selling a home, things can move quickly and you need an agent who is responsive and can keep up.
11. Ask about the agent’s technology skills.
In today’s real estate market, agents need to be tech-savvy. They should be able to use online tools to their advantage, from listing properties on online portals to using social media to reach potential buyers. If an agent is behind the times, they may not give you the level of service you’re looking for.
12. Make sure the agent is full-time.
There are some part-time agents out there, but it’s usually better to work with someone full-time. They’ll have more time to devote to your needs and will be more up-to-date on the latest market trends.
Keep these 12 tips in mind and enjoy your house shopping!