Finding a trustworthy real estate agent, whether you’re buying or selling a house, could be the most essential decision you make. They’ll be assisting you with a transaction worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, after all!
To save time and effort, it may be tempting to hire the first real estate agent you speak with. We understand. Life is hectic, especially when you’re going through a major change. A real estate agent, on the other hand, has the power to make or ruin your xpu ha real estate or home-selling experience.
You don’t want to choose an inexperienced agent who may be winging it. You want a seasoned agent who knows how to get the job done right. But how do you go about finding the best real estate agent for your needs?
7 Ways to Locate a Fantastic Real Estate Agent
Here are some pointers to help you find the best real estate agents in your region and how to pick the best one for you so you can purchase or sell a house on your schedule and for the greatest price.
1. Use Reliable Resources to Locate Agents in Your Area
Okay, there are numerous methods for locating a real estate agent. However, you must look in the correct places to discover a fantastic one near you:
Use a recommendation scheme you can trust, such as our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) network, to find the best agents.
Conduct considerable web research to find the top agents in your area or in the area where you plan to relocate.
Inquire about the agent used by people who had a positive experience purchasing or selling a home.
Open houses are a great way to meet potential agents in person.
If you think you’d feel more at ease working with someone you know on a personal level, be aware that hiring a friend or relative as your real estate agent may result in some awkward situations.
For example, they’ll almost certainly be looking into your personal finances (such as how much money you make and how you handle it), which isn’t necessarily information you want floating around your social circles.
And what if the transaction doesn’t go as planned? Mistakes in the housing market can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Who knows how long the tension will endure, even if you have the bravery to fire them?
Don’t settle for a poor agent when you might simply locate a top performer who has assisted hundreds of people just like you in getting the job done quickly and for the greatest price.
2. Assess Their Real Estate Knowledge
So, now that you know where to look for a good real estate agent, how do you pick the correct one? Flipping a coin isn’t going to help you pick the best one. The agent interview procedure should be taken seriously. That’s right, we said the interview procedure.
Remember, this is a massive deal with tens of thousands of dollars at stake! You wouldn’t put your money in the hands of an amateur. Don’t be scared to set the bar high if you want an expert. The good news is that distinguishing specialists from amateurs isn’t difficult. All you have to do is know what to look for.
Assisting someone with the purchase or sale of a house is a difficult job that requires arduous negotiations and market volatility. As a result, you’ll want to hire an agent with a lot of experience. When it comes to experience, how much is enough? Whether you’re buying or selling, the answer is different.
If you’re buying a house, search for a buyer’s agent with at least two years of full-time real estate experience. Otherwise, you’re nothing more than a guinea pig.
Agent for the seller: On the other hand, selling is a little more difficult. You should hire an agent who has worked full-time for at least four years.
The average real estate agent has eight years of experience, believe it or not.
1 If an agent has 10 or more years of experience, you may be confident that they’ve sold in both good and bad times.
Okay, depending on their area of specialty, a real estate agent may have a variety of fancy-sounding credentials and specialities. We’ll go over a few of the most frequent ones. I hope you enjoy acronyms.
You shouldn’t choose an agent only on the basis of their certificates, but knowing what they are and what they mean will give you confidence that your agent is capable of assisting people in your circumstance.
3. Confirm that they are familiar with your local real estate market.
While general real estate experience is crucial, it’s also critical that your agent has assisted clients in buying and selling a large number of houses in your area. If you live in Birmingham, Alabama, you need an agent that is familiar with the local real estate market. It won’t help you much if they know everything there is to know about real estate in a suburb or a town an hour away.
Here are some things to check for to see if the agent you’re interviewing has the local knowledge you’re looking for:
Do they evict a lot of people?
We imply dozens of dwellings when we say “a lot.” This is where the professionals truly shine. You don’t want to hire your Aunt Nancy, who last year sold three houses. You’ll be sorry, and that’s the last thing you want for Thanksgiving dinner.
Find an experienced real estate agent who closes at least 35 properties per year or more than 90% of the agents in their market. To get that kind of business, you need to work hard and have a strong reputation. That kind of high-volume agent lives, sleeps, and breathes real estate. That’s the person you’re looking for!
If you’re selling your home, a successful agent can afford to give a comprehensive marketing plan and may even recruit additional help to ensure that home sales don’t fall behind.
When it comes to purchasing a home, dealing with a skilled negotiator guarantees that you don’t overpay for your new home. A high-volume realtor has access to a large number of available properties and may even be aware of properties before they hit the market.
Are they invested in the community where you live?
Clearly, an agent who has sold a large number of houses in your region has demonstrated expertise. However, you want an agent that can do more than just recite facts. They should have a personal connection to your town and an understanding of what makes your region of the world unique. Are you a resident of a hot market? Working with an agent that understands this is even more critical!
4. Look into the track record of the real estate agent.
It’s critical to know that your agent is a high-performing agent. You want an agent that can appropriately price homes and then get them to the closing table. A few crucial measures can assist you in determining their level of expertise in these areas.
What is the accuracy of their pricing?
It’s not difficult to figure this out. Inquire about the average asking price and ultimate sales price of homes listed by an agent. The final price is then divided by the asking price. This figure, also known as the sale-to-list ratio, can assist you in determining how properly your realtor rates the property they sell.
The closer an agent’s sale-to-list ratio is to 100 percent, the more accurate their pricing is—and the more likely your house will sell for the asking amount. A ratio of more than 100% indicates that an agent consistently sells property for more than the asking price.
Now, if you’re looking to buy a house, you can look at the sale-to-list ratio of homes that an agent has helped clients acquire, which is a good predictor of how well they will negotiate on your behalf. A rating less than 100 indicates that a buyer’s agent consistently gets homes for less than the asking price.
There is no assurance that the agent will be able to assist you in purchasing or selling a house within a specific time frame. However, knowing what to expect might be beneficial, particularly if you’re selling a home. If you’re attempting to sell your house quickly, you’ll want to hire an agent who will work tirelessly to get it sold.
5. Find out how they handle customer service.
You shouldn’t have to wait five days for a real estate agent to answer your call or respond to a text message if you’ve entrusted them with helping you buy or sell a home. These are the questions you should ask to ensure that they will remain at your side during the entire process.
What methods do they use to communicate with their real estate customers?
In any real estate deal, communication is crucial. You and your agent are both missing out if your agent doesn’t respond to you in a fair amount of time, and it’s costing you opportunities.
You’ll need a real estate agent who is both quick to respond and completely honest. Find someone who can be blunt in the nicest possible way. The last thing you want is a real estate agent that sets unrealistic expectations for your home. It’s in your best advantage for them to call it like they see it, whether you like it or not.
Agents that lock you into a long contract that they can get out of but you can’t should be avoided. If you’re asked to sign a contract, inquire with your agent about the possibility of canceling without penalty if you’re unhappy with their service. Also, some agencies will demand a termination fee to offset out-of-pocket marketing costs.
Do you want to know what’s good, awful, and ugly? Nothing beats speaking with a previous client about their personal experience with a real estate agent. When interviewing real estate brokers, ask for a list of previous clients so you may contact them.
6. Speak with a minimum of three real estate agents.
Take this as a real interview! These types of inquiries can aid you in identifying the genuinely exceptional agents and establishing realistic expectations for the process.
If you have any more questions, now is the time to ask them. Don’t be frightened to express yourself! A good agent will patiently and fully answer all of your questions because they want you to have all of the information you need to make an informed decision.
7. Hire someone you enjoy working with.
Expertise is important, but chemistry is also important when selling a home. This is someone with whom you’ll be spending a lot of time in the coming months. Even if the real estate agent you’re contemplating checks all the boxes for what an agent should do, you should still ask yourself, “Do I like and trust this person?”
Your agent does not have to be your best friend. In fact, it’s probably for the best that you aren’t. However, you must, in a sense, gel with them.
Do they make you feel even more tense than before? Is it as if they’re avoiding your queries and rushing around like a chicken with its head chopped off?
The right agent will ensure that you understand the process and will patiently answer any questions you may have without adding to your stress level.