Whether you are in the market for a starter home, a luxury property or an apartment building for investment purposes, you will be relying on the professionalism and expertise of the real estate agent you hire to handle the transaction. If you choose well, the entire buying process can be fast and easy. If you choose badly, you could find your stress level shooting up and end up spending more than you should.
There are a number of criteria you should use when choosing a real estate agent. First and foremost, you want to make sure you are comfortable working with the individual. After all, you and the agent will be spending a lot of time together touring homes, going over listings and setting offer prices. In addition to that comfort level, here are a few things you should look for in a real estate professional.
Talk to Their Clients
Get a list of recent clients from the agent you are considering, then contact those clients and ask lots of questions. Were they happy with the experience or do they wish they had chosen a different agent? Was the buying process fast and easy or slow and painful? You can learn a lot from former clients, so do not be afraid to reach out.
Make Sure They are Properly Licensed
The licensing requirements for real estate agents can vary from state to state, so check with your state to see what is required. Then check the licensing status of both the real estate firm and the individual realtor you are considering.
If the real estate agent or agency does not have the proper licenses, it is time to look elsewhere. There are plenty of fully-licensed real estate agencies out there, so there is no reason to deal with a questionable firm. Realty sites offer information on real estate licensing and important information for home buyers.
Look at Their Listings
Take a look at the listings the real estate agent already has on the market. Do the homes seem well represented? Are the open house full and effective? Are houses selling on a regular basis? If the answer to any of those questions is no, you might want to continue your search. Full-service firms can provide a full slate of services for both commercial and residential buyers. Reviewing the listing of the realtor you are considering is the best way to make an informed decision.
Make Sure Their Expertise is a Match
It does not make much sense to work with a business real estate expert if you are looking for a starter home. Be sure the specific experience and expertise matches what you need. Ask lots of questions when you interview a potential real estate agent, including what types of properties they prefer to work with and what kind of buyers they prefer. Make sure that you and the agent are a good match before you engage their services.