Many Americans, looking to purchase their first home or simply wanting to move into a different neighborhood, are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices for real estate agents. Personal referrals, advertisements and other resources often prove unreliable so where should you turn?
The blog post is going to guide you towards the right way.
How to find Real estate agent?
First off, look at what you need from an agent. Do they need to be local, near where you’d like to buy? Or do you need someone with extensive knowledge of the area in which you’d like to buy. If an agent makes promises that seem too good to be true, then they probably are.
To find a list of potential realtors in your area, check out industry-related websites, such as the National Association of Realtors.
Industry-related websites are reliable sources but may contain bias or advertising that can influence article content. A better way to find a list of potential realtors in your area is to ask friends and family for personal referrals. If an agent makes promises that seem too good to be true, they probably are.
Once you have a list of potential realtors, look up their online reviews and testimonials from other clients. Avoid agents with many unfavorable reviews or suspicious-sounding promises in their advertisements.
Frequently Asked Questions About Real estate agents
The following questions and answers should give you all of the information necessary to select the best possible candidate for representing your needs in this important purchase.
1) Does the real estate agent have experience in both selling and buying homes?
A vital part of negotiation is knowing when it’s time to walk away from a deal. Any successful negotiator has been burnt by bad deals gone through simply because they failed to recognize when they were being taken advantage of or treated unfairly. This means that an agent who only sells homes will lack crucial knowledge about what it’s like on the other side of the table.
2) How long has the real estate agent been in business?
The longer an agent is in business, the more likely they are to be successful and build up a trustworthy reputation. Of course, this isn’t always true – there are plenty of honest new agents with integrity that will treat you fairly without taking advantage of your inexperience or neediness. But it’s definitely safer to work with someone who knows what they’re doing!
3) What percentage of home sales for this real estate agent come from referrals?
An experienced agent who works hard to earn repeat customers understands how important customer service is. An agent who gets most of their new clients through word-of-mouth recommendations is likely to be interested in treating you fairly so that they earn your own recommendations.
4) What is their availability on weekdays, evenings, and weekends?
A real estate agent who works on short-notice on all hours of the day will be able to provide constant support during one of the most stressful times in your life. This means that they must have excellent communication skills and be willing to work at all hours – something an agent who only works business hours cannot offer.
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5) How many homes do they sell every month on average?
Although it may seem like a no-brainer, this question is very important because it gives you an idea of how hard your representative will work for you. The harder someone works for you, the better it reflects on your interests. An agent who only sells one or two homes a month probably won’t have the time to put in much effort for you.
6) Are they listed in the Better Business Bureau’s website?
Although not all agents with bad business practices make enough mistakes to warrant getting their name listed here, potential clients should still always check this list before hiring anyone. A listing can be a sign that someone has at least been accused of unethical behavior, even if the accusations were never proven. In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
7) How many complaints have been filed against them through the Better Business Bureau?
This question is similar but opposite from number 6 above. Just like a listing can be a sign of bad business practice, so too can the lack of a listing. If no incidents have been filed against the agent through this website, there is no way to know whether or not they are trustworthy.
8) What does their license say it allows them to do?
An honest real estate agent will list all of their credentials and abilities on their business card and/or website – anything else means that they don’t take their job seriously enough to go out of their way for you. A good example is someone who only lists that they are “licensed” but doesn’t specify if that’s as a realtor, broker, etc… Since every state has different requirements for licenses, make sure you ask about your specific situation!
9) How long have they been licensed in the state?
Similar to number 4 above, it’s important to make sure that your representative knows what they’re doing. Although it may be very easy to earn a license at first, agents who stay in business for many years and continue to learn and grow tend to do their job better than ‘newcomers’. They also know local laws and restrictions on real estate better than most new agents out there!
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10) Do they belong to any professional associations?
It is often helpful if an agent you are working with belongs to a professional association. Associations usually impose high standards of education and performance onto their members so it’s always nice when someone has such an organization behind them. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be good for you, but they will typically know what they are doing and try their best to keep up with any changes in the industry.
11) Do they have a website?
An agent without a website is not likely to be very professional. Although you can’t assume this is true just because an agent has a nice website, it still doesn’t hurt to ask! You should also look at how frequently their site gets updated and if it appears that they pay attention to all forms of modern advertising. If they don’t seem like the type of person who would care about these things, ask yourself why you wouldn’t want someone of their caliber representing your interests as well!
12) What percentage of home sales do they complete every year?
This is a question that can be hard for an agent to answer without digging through their records. This is because the number of homes sold per year varies widely depending on how long someone has been in business and what type of clients hire them. Regardless, it’s still important to ask your potential candidate this question – since they are required to answer truthfully, it gives you a look into what kind of person you’re dealing with. The more listings they have means the harder they work! Of course, some people simply don’t care about selling as many homes as possible – but if that’s the case why would you even want them working for you?
13) What percentage of buyers do they speak with on a daily basis?
Similar to the previous question, this question is a little difficult for some agents to answer because there are a number of factors that play into the amount of clients an agent works with. This includes how busy they are and whether or not they take on walk-in traffic, among other things. If someone cannot give you an accurate estimate of how many people contact them every day it’s probably because they aren’t very successful at their job, which means you would want someone who has more experience in your field!
14) What percentage of sales are made through referrals?
Most agents don’t have referral programs since it takes time and effort to upkeep – but if the candidate you’re speaking with has one, make sure to ask them this question! A solid referral program can be a sign of professionalism in the industry; it also means that they are in touch with their clients and understand their needs.
15) Are you working with any other realtors?
This question is similar to number 14 but slightly different. If an agent has multiple people representing them it means that they’re not very good at their job; they might even be scamming you if they’re doing this without your knowledge. Even if the candidate says no, there’s still a chance of something fishy going on so make sure to ask them some follow-up questions about how long they have been “solo” before signing anything!
Hope you guys are now well versed in how to find real estate agent. Share your thoughts upon this post with us and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for more such informative articles.