Picking a real estate agent is a huge step toward becoming a homeowner. However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. There are often more than enough agents in your area to choose from, but how do you know when you’ve found the right one?
If you’re about to enter the real estate market, this post is for you. We’ve outlined four crucial qualities to look for in your real estate agent. When you land on the right combination, you’ll have found your perfect match.
Ask questions of your potential real estate agent to gauge experience levels. Image: Norris Architecture
Buying a home, especially for the first time, can be a nerve-wracking experience. After all, you’re about to make a huge purchase, one that requires managing several timelines and signing legal documents. If you’ve never done it before, you’re going to want someone to lead you through the process. You need a real estate agent with experience to help make sure everything goes smoothly.
Before hiring anyone for the job, make sure to interview them. Ask how many years they’ve been in the business, as well as how many transactions they complete per year, on average. Their comfort level in answering these questions should give you a sense of how well they’ll be able to lead you through househunting.
Focus on someone who knows your new area. Image: Rawpixel
Familiarity with the area
Whether you’re moving from afar or from just around the corner, make sure you hire someone who’s familiar with the area where you’re looking to end up. Put simply, your agent is there to be a resource for you. Though they’re legally not allowed to give an opinion of the quality of the area, they can guide your search toward neighborhoods that meet your needs.
If you’re moving from far away, we recommend that you look for a referral from an agent where you currently live. They can put you in touch with a reputable agent in your new area. However, always be sure to research on your own as well. Search for the top real estate agents in the area where you intend to move.
Trust your gut when interviewing a potential real estate agent. Image: Sharratt Design Company
A compatible personality
This one’s a bit subjective, but you should absolutely choose a real estate agent with whom you get along well. The reality is that you’re going to be spending a considerable amount of time with this person, and they’re going to help you make one of your biggest decisions to date. Your agent should be someone you trust, someone who you feel has your best interests at heart.
As you interview the agent, ask yourself: How do you feel about their responses? Were they informative enough? Were they too brusque or too timid for your tastes? Do you think you would get along well together or butt heads? Do you feel comfortable trusting them with your financials? All of these are important concerns that you’ll need to sort out on a case-by-case basis.
Be sure to read online reviews. Image: Laura Hursthouse Design
While you’re conducting research, look up reviews for any agents that are at the top of your list. These days, people will review everything from movies to pet stores. Any real estate agent worth their salt is going to have at least a handful of recommendations on home search websites like Trulia and Zillow.
Reviews are key because they offer a unique point of view, one that is very similar to your own. They let you know what the agent was like to work with on a day-to-day basis, how they handled problems and if you’re in good hands.
Choosing a real estate agent may feel like a daunting task, but with the right research, you can find one that suits both your needs and your comfort level. What has your experience been like working with real estate agents? Did you find your perfect match? We’d love to hear about it below!