Real estate agents are your representative in real estate negotiations, and they are your expert resource for finding the right home for your family. This is why you want to hire the right one. Here are a few tips on how to find the right agent, whether you want to find a condo on the beach or a luxury home in the suburbs.
Do you know someone who recently closed on the type of home you’d like to own in the same area you’d like to live in? Ask for their real estate agent’s information. Ask for referrals from your network such as your lender, your neighbors, and your coworkers. You’re going to need to interview at least three of them to find a good realtor.
Vet Their Credentials
Do a basic background check on the realtor. Are you talking to a well-known seller of Boca Raton luxury homes, or did someone refer their broke sister-in-law to you? Does the realtor have any complaints against them with the Better Business Bureau? Is it just one person or an established team?
If you’re trying to sell a home, check out their website. Do they have a polished website with professional photos of the properties?
Ask the realtor for references, and then check them. Call or email the references and ask about their overall experience. How responsive was the realtor? How quickly did they respond to calls and texts? What level of service did they provide when going through the mortgage closing process? Did they charge a reasonable rate? Did they provide valuable expertise?
Ask the hard questions. Were there issues with the contract or the realtor’s final fees? Were you charged extra listing fees, home staging fees and other costs you weren’t expecting? What is their average closing time on a house? How long did it take the realtor to find someone the perfect home, and how many showings were necessary?
Interview the Realtor
Interview the realtor in person. Do they seem polished and professional? Do they listen to what you want? Do they seem to be willing to abide by your budget or expectations? Ask about sales volume. You probably don’t want to work with an agent who only sold five homes last year, especially if you need to move your home quickly.
You’ll also want to find someone who’s a personality fit, since they’re your proxy in the property match-making business. If they don’t understand you, they won’t show you homes that are a good fit. Just realize that a realtor who is a hard negotiator can be an invaluable stand in for you when you’re trying to lower the price on a home or secure other concessions.
Read the Contract
Suppose you think you’ve found a great realtor. Read the contract before you sign it. How much is the commission they’re charging? How long is the contract for? Can you break it if they are taking too long or don’t seem to be giving you or your home sufficient attention?
Buying a new home is a huge investment, so it’s important to make sure that you do your research and find the right real estate agent for the job. After all, this is a place where you’re going to be spending a lot of your time! With the right agent in your corner, you’ll be matched with your dream home before you know it.