This is Part 7 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process.
Asking for recommendations from friends and family is the most reliable way to start your agent search. But everyone seems to know a real estate agent or someone who has used an agent, so how do you pick the one who is best for you?
Pick someone you feel comfortable with. Purchasing a home is a very personal and complex transaction – more so than almost any other business transaction – so it is imperative you can be open and honest while discussing personal information with your agent. Trust is key!
Pick someone who is familiar with the area. It is crucial that your agent is on top of the market activity in the area where you are searching. Not only do they need to know what homes are selling for and how competitive the market is, but they should be able to act as your community guide as well.
Pick someone who listens, explains, and doesn’t pressure. Make sure your agent is talking to you rather than at you so they can understand your needs. Also make sure your agent is taking the time to walk you through each step of the process. That being said, never be afraid to clarify and ask lots of questions yourself! Purchasing a home can be confusing at times so questions are to be expected.
Pick someone who is responsive and reasonably available. Time is of the essence in real estate. You need an agent who is going to respond to you and all other parties involved in a timely manner, and be available to show homes quickly in a competitive market. Do keep in mind that a mutual respect for each other’s time is important.
Pick someone who is a full-time agent. This ties in to the importance of being responsive and available. Someone who has a primary job outside of real estate is not likely to have the flexibility to handle your transaction efficiently and make you a priority.
Pick someone who works for a reputable brokerage. Do your research on the brokerages in your area. Reputable brokerages tend to have more resources for both their agents and clients, as well as a wider network of listings and communication.
Trust your gut! First impressions are important. If your agent is excessively late, appears overwhelmed, or seems disorganized, imagine how they will handle the trickier scenarios throughout the rest of the transaction.