If you’re looking to buy or sell your home, one of the most important professionals on your side will be your real estate agent. Agents represent you in the market and assist you with negotiations and your offer. You won’t get too far without an agent, especially in today’s market where professional help is one of the key ingredients to a successful sale! So, how do you actually pick the right real estate agent? Here’s what you can do to ensure you find an agent who matches your needs.
Word of mouth is a valuable way for professionals to gain their reputation, and for clients to seek them out. This is no different in real estate, where many people find their real estate agent based on what they hear from others. After all, many people find honest, in-person opinions are more genuine than online reviews from strangers. If you have any friends or family who have recently bought a home, ask them who they worked with, and how their experience was. If you trust their opinions, and they recommend their agent, this is a path worth investigating. Even looking into the company the agent came from can be helpful, so you can see if there are similar professionals within the same organization.
If you don’t have any friend or family connections who can give you recommendations, feel free to ask a broker like myself. Our job involves lots of communication with real estate agents and other industry professionals, and I’d be happy to point you in the direction of potentially suitable agents.
Do your own research
You shouldn’t just rely on other people’s recommendations when you’re looking for a real estate agent. After all, this agent needs to work for YOU, and what worked for someone else might not be quite right for you. Do some research on agents you have heard about. Online research contains a wealth of information and can give you a vibe for what a certain person or company might be like. You can learn about different agents’ experience, testimonials, and examine websites to see what you think. Your brain and your gut will both play a part here. While you want a real estate agent with a rich professional history, you should also focus on how their image or site makes you feel.
The best agents are familiar with the area you’re buying or selling in. Local knowledge means your real estate agent can tell you about market trends, average housing prices, amenities, access to transit, demographics, and a number of other details that are important to your search. You want your agent to understand the ins and outs of the area or neighbourhood so they can give you the best direction. This is super important for getting the price you deserve, and being sure about your decision. Just like you’d want a tour guide to be an expert on the city you’re exploring, for example, you will want an agent who knows your local area just as well.
Ask lots of questions
It’s a good idea to meet with a few potential real estate agents before making your decision. This person is going to help you make the biggest purchase of your life, so they need to be a good fit for you and your needs. When you have narrowed down a few options, meet with agents to ask them about their career history, experience, and knowledge of the area. You should also be sure an agent understands your goals as a buyer or seller, and shares your vision for the future. Your real estate agent will be finding properties for you to view, so you can ask about their work with clients similar to you to see if they are familiar with your position.
Think about online presence
Finally, consider the importance of using a real estate agent who is familiar with online marketing in today’s digital world. House hunting is largely done online these days, as real estate sites have made it easy and convenient to find potential properties that match your needs. Whether you’re buying or selling, you want an agent who understands how to best use these platforms. For example, buyers will want an agent who can use online filters to find potential properties for them as quickly as possible. Sellers will want to know their real estate agent can help their listing garner attention online. Either way, the internet generates a lot of business from both buyers and sellers, and your agent should know how to use it to your advantage.
Finding the right real estate agent might take some time, but don’t fret. It’s better to delay your entry into the market than try to work with an agent who doesn’t understand your needs. Most real estate agents are excellent at what they do, but clients will naturally work better with one agent than another. If you’re looking for guidance on your next steps, that’s where I come in! I can help you get started by pointing you in the right direction, using my own knowledge base to think of good matches. Taking the time now can save you lots of stress later.
If you have any questions about your mortgage, get in touch with me!