How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
A home purchase will likely be the most expensive financial transaction you make in your life. Whether it's your first, next, or forever home, you need a dedicated real estate agent by your side. Yet, many buyers end up working with the first realtor they contact.
Here are some tips for choosing a real estate agent.
Do your research
No two real estate agents are the same. While they might share the same goal of guiding their clients through a sale, realtors have different levels of experience and specialties. It's up to you to conduct your search and start determining who could best fit your needs.
Experts recommend looking into an agent's online presence before doing anything else. We're talking about their website, social media accounts, and reviews from past clients. Though this info may not provide the entire picture, it at least gives you a snapshot of your potential agent.
Interview multiple agents
You're ready to schedule meetings once you have a shortlist of candidates. It's during this time that you'll sit down with each agent and get a feel for each of them. Doing so can not only help you find the right realtor but also eliminate those who aren't a good match.
You'll want to ask these real estate agents several questions. For example, do they specialize in a specific type of property? And are they willing to provide contact information for past clients?
Most realtors have no problem scheduling an initial meeting and answering a few questions. However, some may be reluctant to do so and would rather rush you into the process. Our advice is to steer clear of these realtors altogether.
Discuss your expectations
Real estate agents wear many hats — researcher, negotiator, therapist, etc. However, you expect your realtor to go the extra mile. This could mean anything from handling a setback with the inspection to putting in an offer well into the evening.
Ultimately, the agent you choose should be your advocate. This person must have your best interests in mind and do whatever possible to help you land your dream home. A proven realtor will also take on any obstacles along the way and keep you on track with the process.
Ask about their support
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who buys and sells homes for a living. You're likely juggling meetings with clients, open houses, and mountains of paperwork, among other tasks. During the evening or on weekends, you could be catching up on work-related texts and emails.
These are busy people, and most of them have a support staff to keep things running smoothly. Don't hesitate to ask about the customer service you'll receive. The best agents provide each client with unmatched service, regardless of their schedule.
You've gone through the above steps and now have to choose a realtor. The agents in consideration are savvy and mindful of your specific goals. Unfortunately, you can only choose one of them.
Our best piece of advice is to go with the person you trust the most. It doesn't matter if they haven't sold a record number of homes or won various awards. What's most important is they're in your corner, and you're comfortable with them guiding you through the ups and downs of the journey.
Signs of a bad real estate agent
Perhaps you're wondering how to tell the difference between an excellent real estate agent and a bad one. While some of the following may require some time to figure out, others will be evident from the beginning.
This has to be the biggest pet peeve for aspiring homebuyers. In today's digital age, you should expect to regularly hear from your agent by phone call, text, or email. A realtor who fails to communicate effectively could lead to you missing out on the perfect home.
Lack of experience
You might know someone who serves as a "part-time" real estate agent. Even though they might be licensed and have a few sales under their belt, they probably aren't the right realtor for the job. Do yourself a favor and narrow your search to agents who understand the ins and outs of the market.
Your agent must match you with the right home, not necessarily the priciest home. That said, many realtors are more concerned about their commission than their clients' preferences. You can eliminate a potential headache by reviewing your agent's fees before signing a contract.
Start your homebuying journey
Choosing a real estate agent is just one piece of the homebuying puzzle. Our team at American Financing has you covered in terms of home loan options.
We offer several low down payment programs, including FHA and VA loans. There's also down payment assistance for those who qualify.
Give us a call at (800) 910-4055 for more information.