Finding the right real estate agent is a deal breaker, and it can mean a deal going through smoothly or losing a lot of money in the process. Before settling on a real estate agent, interview three agents and select one to represent your interests. Hiring a professional real estate agent helps you make intelligent decisions and avoid expensive mistakes when buying or selling a home. However, not all agents fit the bill, so here’s how to choose the right real estate agent for you.
Understand What a Real Estate Agent Does
Know what to expect from the agent. For example, let’s say I am looking for a house for sale with land. A real estate agent can give me information about the current market conditions and the cost range for homes with my requirements and then guide me through the buying process. An agent can also recommend to other professionals, such as real estate attorneys and home inspectors. Of course, one real estate agent can represent both sides of the sale (buyer and seller), but it’s always best to have someone solely on your side.
Realtor vs. Real Estate Agent
Not all real estate agents are realtors. A realtor is a licensed real estate agent and a National Association of Realtors (NAR) member. NAR members pledge to abide by the association’s code of ethics and standards.
Every real estate agent must be licensed in the state they work in and abide by all national and state laws. An agent has completed coursework and passed an exam to obtain their license. Before hiring a real estate agent, check with your state’s real estate commission website to verify the agent is licensed.
How to Interview Real Estate Agents
Ask friends, family, and colleagues for referrals to begin your real estate agent search. Then look up the agent’s online profile and website, then read about their experience and specialties. Check out customer reviews as well. Finally, select three prospective agents to interview and discuss how they intend to work with you.
What to Ask a Real Estate Agent
Will the agent solely represent your interests?
It is an assumption with most people that any real estate agent selected will represent only their interests. Sometimes, a real estate agent isn’t legally required to represent the buyer or seller solely. Understand the nature of the agent’s role when working with you. Ask the agent if they intend to solely represent your interests through the process and request that in writing.
What training and experience does the agent have?
Ask the agent how long they have been working with clients and what training they have. Get an agent with a good track record of serving clients like you.
How much is the agent paid?
Real estate agents are paid a commission, typically 5% to 6% of the sales price. You can negotiate a lower rate as a seller, especially for a high-priced property. A real estate agent might not be willing to negotiate on commission, but there’s no harm in asking.
Ask the real estate agent if the previous clients were satisfied. Request references, then talk to clients who worked last with the agent. Talk with the clients and ask if everything went well and what didn’t. Conversations with recent clients tell you whether the agent is a good fit for you.
How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
Compare different agents’ approaches and experience and their ability to establish rapport. If this is a person you are comfortable working with, then go ahead and sign an agreement.
Are you looking to buy or sell a home? Hometowne Realty can help. Our team of professionals can lead you through the entire process. Everything from condos to houses for sale with land, we can handle it and get the best deal for you. Contact us today.