3 Steps to Help You Find the Best Real Estate Agent for Your Needs

real estate agentPurchasing a home is perhaps the most significant financial decision you will make in your lifetime. Buying in this housing market can be tricky and requires expert knowledge in understanding real estate market trends. As such, finding the right real estate agent who will truly empathize with your needs and is knowledgeable regarding real estate values in your area is paramount in finding your dream home. In many ways, the relationship between potential home buyers and real estate agents is similar to a romantic one in that open communication and chemistry play an essential role; home buyers and Realtors should “click” and develop a solid professional relationship.

Wouldn’t it be nice to cut through all the hype and advertisements in order to find the right real estate agent? It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of real estate advertisements online, in print, and on television. Luckily, there are a few helpful tricks of the trade. Read on to determine how to pick the best Realtor.

Speak with recent clients
Whether they’re a family, friend, co-worker, or perfect stranger it’s extremely beneficial to get an insider’s opinion of the Realtor in question. Getting a personal recommendation is perhaps the best way to determine if a Realtor is right for you. Don’t hesitate to ask agents for a list of properties they’ve sold and listed in your area within the last year including contact information. If you’re selling your home, ask the agent if they have prior experience selling properties that are similar to yours in terms of price and location. You want an agent who is knowledgeable in your specific market.

Do some homework
Many states have boards that both license and discipline Realtors and real estate agents. Check with your state’s real estate regulatory boards in order to find out if the real estate agent is not only licensed, but if they have had any previous complaints and disciplinary action taken against them. Some states may have this information available online in the form of a searchable database. Also, pay attention to peer-given awards. An example is the “Realtor of the Year” awarded by the local or state branch of the National Association of Realtors. The agents who receive this prestigious award are judged by their peers.

Review current listings
Most buyers and sellers begin their search for an agent online. Begin by reviewing the social media pages and website of the real estate agent in question in order to get an idea of the types of properties they specialize in. Just as doctors specialize in certain areas of medicine, so do real estate agents specialize in certain form of real estate. Be sure to carefully evaluate how closely the Realtor’s listing align with the property you’d like to buy or sell. Also, look for an attractive web presentation and a strong online presence.

Last but not least, remember to go with your gut. Clearly communicate your expectations and goals, and be equally receptive to feedback.

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