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Buying or selling a home can be intimidating, so having a professional real estate agent is a must. But you may not feel comfortable trusting this important task to an amateur or even a part-time agent. How exactly can you differentiate professional real estate agents from those who look at it as a part-time gig? Don’t worry–we’ve compiled some of the best ways to find the best real estate agent in your area.
A straightforward approach to finding an agent is to ask your friends or family members for a referral. It’s quite possible that someone in your social network has had any experience with a great agent or knows someone else who has. If you’re moving to a new area, don’t rule out getting help from an agent that you’ve worked within the past. Most real estate agents travel in the same circles or know someone who may have insight into a particular city or neighborhood.
Pro Tip: Don’t choose an agent ONLY because your friend recommended him. Your real estate needs might be different than those of your friend, so use your best judgment.
Nowadays, real estate agents are merely a web search away. Just type “real estate agents near me” in any search engine and you’ll get a host of real estate agents in your area. But beware: the agents who come in these searches could be ones who have paid companies to be on their website. Carefully review each agent’s bio and read their reviews to get as much information as you can about their experience.
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time to think about choosing the right one. The best thing you can do to get a better sense of whether the agent is a good fit is to conduct a short interview with them. Consider asking the potential agent questions that help you get a sense of their personality and his or her years of experience.
Ask them outright whether they are a full or part-time agent if they are currently licensed, and for references. Professional, experienced agents are typically happy to provide their credentials and will often offer up a list of their former clients without hesitation.
Avoid agents who are unresponsive or rarely available. Professional real estate agents know that their profession is a full-time job, and it often requires that they are available to their clients 24/7.
If your agent is never available to you during business hours, it’s highly likely that being an agent isn’t his or her full-time profession. Even the busiest agents find time to return calls and emails during the business day.
Furthermore, avoid agents who are unfamiliar with the area where you’re selling or looking to purchase or rent a new home.
Don’t be so blinded by your research when hiring an agent that you ignore your intuition. Listen to your gut. If you get an overall good feeling about someone after you interview them and review their references, or vice versa, trust that feeling.
Be loyal to your agent; work exclusively with them throughout the entire process. If there are things that you’re not happy about as it relates to the search, BE HONEST. Tell them the truth so that they have a chance to fix their process to better serve you and meet your needs as their client.
Finding a real estate agent is not rocket science, and you may already know a few agents in your area already. But when so much money is on the line, it is better to consider your options to hire a professional real estate agent.
Hiring a realtor may take some time, but it will pay off in the end. Follow the above-mentioned tips while looking for an agent, and you will be well on course to sell your home or buy your dream house.