How to Choose a Real Estate Agent: 3 Tips to Help You Find the Right One
by Dawn Allcot
You’re getting ready to buy your dream home! Perhaps you’re moving to a bigger space and hoping to find your forever home, or maybe it’s your first house. Whatever your situation, you want to find the right real estate agent to help make the process go smoothly.
But it’s not always easy to know how to choose a real estate agent or a Realtor – a trademarked name for an agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors – or who to trust when it comes to guiding you through such an important purchase. Ideally, word-of-mouth referrals will steer you to the right person, but here are a few things to consider as you do the research.
- Find a Local Real Estate Agent with Experience in Your Region
Most homebuyers know location matters when they are searching for their dream home. But it’s equally important to find a real estate agent familiar with the area where you’re buying. Your real estate agent should be able to identify the best deals in the area, neighborhoods under revitalization or those that may be overpriced for what they offer. Having someone who knows the region can save you time and energy by helping you narrow your search.
If they’ve worked in your area for a long time, they also have developed relationships with local appraisers, mortgage specialists and contractors, which can help you in your quest for a quick and easy closing at the best rates.
- Choose an Agent with Years of Experience and Connections
It takes years to build up industry relationships. If you sign with a real estate agent who has been in the business of buying and selling homes in the area for a while, they likely have the experience and connections you need.
The Suarez team at Keller Williams Realty has decades of experience in Los Angeles realty, making them navigate even the most complex home deals in a highly competitive market.
Find a Trusted Partner for your Purchase
You want to find a real estate agent who can do more than just point you to the right house. Ideally, your real estate agent can connect you with a mortgage broker to get you a good rate on a home loan, an insurance agent to write your homeowners insurance policy, real estate lawyers, appraisers and contractors.
A real estate agent is much more than just your personal home shopper, so to speak, for the home of your dreams. Your real estate agent should be a trusted partner through the whole home-buying process.
- Choose an Agent with Complimentary Experience
Keeping in mind that your real estate agent should help you navigate the home-buying process, it helps if they have expertise in other areas, including home appraisals or even real estate investing. Your real estate agent can’t perform the appraisal on your home to help you get a mortgage because that would be a conflict of interest. But agents need to know how to do comps (comparative market analysis) on a home to ensure they are getting a fair deal.
A real estate agent with additional industry experience is likely to be more knowledgeable in every step of the home-buying process. Look for one who understands the appraisal process, along with home inspections, financing and the various loan options available.
Find an Agent With a Team
Of course, good real estate agents can’t be expected to do it all by themselves. A real estate agent with a team behind them is more likely to have the availability you need because they have a back office to handle some of their work.
Additionally, if your real estate agent is not available, someone else in the office may be able to help you by answering a quick question or alleviating any concerns you might have.
How to Choose an Agent You Can Trust
While 73 percent of homebuyers only interviewed one agent before moving forward, it pays to interview multiple agents before making your choice. Just as you would shop around if you’re buying a car or having major home renovations completed, speak to at least two or three real estate agents before choosing one. You want to find a real estate agency that is fair, honest and trustworthy above all else, and you can only discern these character traits through a conversation or two.
See if you click with our group of experienced agents servicing Southern California. Contact The Suarez Team today!
Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing expert specializing in real estate, finance and travel. She regularly writes for sites such as GoBankingRates, LoopNET and GeekTravelGuide.net.
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