Finding the Right Real Estate Agent
In a world where everyone seems to be a realtor or knows a realtor, how can you know who will be the best realtor for you? As you know, buying a house is not the same as buying a piece of jewelry, or even a new car. Buying a house is usually the most expensive purchase of one’s life.
With that being said, it is important to find someone you can trust. As well as someone who has a level of communication that matches yours. I am going to tell you my tips for selecting the best buyer’s agent for you.
Find a professional who puts in the time and effort
I seem to find that a lot of blogs that tell you that it is important to pick an agent that knows the area like the back of their hand. While I can see the pros of this, I also do not see this as the most important component in finding your dream home.
First, I think it sets the expectation that your realtor should be able to name cross streets, subdivisions, and landmarks at the drop of a hat. In reality, we cannot be expected to always know every little detail of the location of one house that you found on your Zillow search that morning.
Second, it sets the expectation that your realtor is going to be able to tell you whether this area is a “good” area or not. In reality, we are not allowed to tell you that, because it is strictly opinion. Your realtor will not be living there, you will be living there. Yes, it is your realtor’s job to actively search for houses for you to look at, but it is good for you to get familiar with the neighborhoods and zip codes that you are thinking of purchasing in.
Are they resourceful?
Here is what I do think becomes most important: If they do not know the area, how resourceful are they to seeking out answers to your questions. Are they doing their own research in their spare time? How much time and effort are they willing to put in to finding you your home? You can have an agent that knows the area better than anyone. But that does not mean that they will be pro active in your home search. The easiest part of the home buying process is finding the house. The hard part, and when you will want the best real etsate professional, is during the time you are under contract.
Meet in person to see if you have the right connection
I always recommend meeting your prospective real estate agent in person before choosing to work with them. The initial consult will provide you information on the home buying process. As well as answer any questions you may have about the process. The agent should always explain each step of the home buying process. A good agent will also run you through possible scenarios that you could face when buying a house.
Implement a Communication Strategy
A real estate professional should always establish a communication plan with their clients. Nowadays with everyone’s busy schedule, text is sometimes the better option for both parties. Maybe you’re a phone call or email kind of person. Whatever it is, your agent should ask this at the consult.
Establish your Time Line
They should also ask what type of buyer you are. You may hear agents talk about an “A”, “B”, or “C” buyer. One is not better than another; it just establishes how often you’d like to communicate with your agent. Buyer A might be someone who really needs to find a house in the next two months. Most likely, an A buyer would not be too happy with an agent who is only checking in on them once per week. Establishing this early on ensures that your agent will not be dropping the ball on their communication during the process.
Are you good Under Pressure?
Another thing to touch on during the consult, is identifying how you react under pressure or stressful situations. Home buying is not always lollipops and rainbows, and there will be times when you become stressed or feel like the world is ending. Your agent should ask you early on how you react in stressful situations. Establish a communication plan if those situations arise. Also, figure out if you like this agent. You will be talking with them a lot! Usually, you end up becoming friends and stay in touch long after the transaction is over.
Setting the expectations
This in my opinion, is one of the most over looked parts of a good client/agent relationship and ties in perfectly with the communication portion. It is so important to let your prospective agent know what is important to you during this process and how they can be a better agent for you. It is equally as important that your agent lays out the expectations they have for you as a client. Having clarity in what each party expects of the other is going to be key to having the best experience possible. Having the best realtor means communication.
Building a team of professionals
Finding a house does not just involve you, the seller and your agent. Finding a house involves a lot of people that can make or break the transaction. It is going to be important for your agent to have trusted people they can refer you to during this time. You’ll need a loan officer, a title person, home insurance, home inspectors of all kinds, contractors, you name it. The realtor is at the center of all of these people, constantly communicating and making sure everything is being handled on time. Knowing that you’re getting great people on your team is paramount. Make sure you ask your realtor who they use. As a buyer you always reserve the right to use who you want, but I highly recommend making sure your agent has amazing people that they work with and trust to make sure you have the smoothest experience possible.
I could go on and on about what to look for in a buyer’s agent, but I felt these five points were very important. Many characteristics are involved in the best realtor for you. Buying a house can be extremely exciting, and it can be stressful. Making sure you have an agent with whom you can communicate with and feel comfortable with is so crucial to having an exceptional home buying experience. For more information feel free to contact us here. Happy house hunting!