Choosing to buy or sell a house is one of the most important financial decisions of your life. That’s the reason why finding a professional real estate agent with the experience and knowledge to conduct you during the process is important.
There are so many realtors trying to get clients via online advertisements on social media and traditional methods like postcards and yard signs, but with so many options to pick from, finding the ideal realtor to work with can feel complicated. Follow these recommendations on how to find a real estate agent to ensure you hire the right pro:
Get a pre-approval for a mortgage
In some cases, home shoppers hire a realtor and dive into their home search before they ever talk to a lender. Most specialists advise talking to a lender first; this way, buyers will learn how much they can afford.
The first step of the process beings with the pre-approval for a mortgage; this will help you identify some issues that need to be worked on and provide you with the maximum amount you can borrow. It is fundamental since it allows potential buyers to stick to homes in the right price range, and it will show potential sellers (and real estate agents) that you’re a serious buyer.
Try to get referrals from your network.
It is always advised to ask friends and family members if they can recommend a professional and experienced realtor with whom they’ve had a positive and successful experience. Preferably, you’ll want to work with a realtor with experience working with clients who are similar to you. The needs of first-time buyers are entirely different than those of repeat clients or homeowners.
Always look for a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and has formally agreed to follow the group’s code of ethics. Some real estate agents also have accreditations to prove that they’ve completed training in a particular area of real estate.
Research potential candidates
To begin with this part of the process, it is essential to examine their online presence. Check their websites and active social media profiles they use to promote their listings. Look over at their online reviews as well. If they have many negatives reviews, that is a major red flag, and you should not work with that realtor.
Verify with your state’s real estate regulator to discover whether an agent you’re contemplating is licensed or has any disciplinary actions. Vet candidates you’re interviewing on your local Better Business Bureau’s website to see if they’ve got any complaints.
Interview some real estate agents
This is the right moment to learn more about the realtor’s expertise. Ideally, you’re looking to work with a professional, experienced real estate agent and understands and feels comfortable working with your budget needs.
This step of the process also gives you an opportunity to find out the agent’s preferred method of communication and their availability. If you’re most comfortable texting and expect to visit homes after work hours during the week, you’ll want an agent who’s happy to do the same.
Request and check references
Ask realtors to give you updated information on homes they’ve listed and sold in the past couple of months, with contact information for some of those recent clients. Contact them to find out their experience and the kind of support the agent provided during the process, particularly during the negotiations. Ask if they’d hire that agent again for their next real estate transaction. This will give you a better understanding of whether it would be a good idea to work with that realtor or not.