How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
Are you looking to buy or sell a home? Have no idea where to begin? You're in luck! Picking a real estate agent can be tricky, and choosing the right real estate agent to represent you is even trickier. Once you've read this guide, you can be on your way to choosing the best real estate to help you buy or sell your home.
Do a Quick Internet Search
Once you're ready to sell your home or know what area you'd like to purchase a home in, you can conduct a quick internet search to see which agents pop up in the results. For example, if you're going looking for someone who specializes in Los Angeles real estate, you want someone from the local area. If you're looking to buy in Los Angeles, this can help you find an agent to show you homes rather than depending on someone who is not as familiar with the area and can't accurately guide you to homes that fit your needs.
Ask Friends for a Referral
If you have friends who have bought or sold in the area, ask them what real estate agent they worked with and if they would work with them again. A positive experience from someone close to you is a significant step to look further at someone's credentials. However, even if the experience wasn't stellar, ask what the agent did or didn't do during the process. You might be looking for someone with these qualities when your friends may have preferred someone else.
Research Multiple Agents
Now that you've done an internet search and asked friends for referrals, hopefully you have a name or two that landed on both lists. Do more research into these agents first. Their recent transaction history can tell you a lot about their expertise.
For sellers, if you notice homes that have sold for 2-3x what your home is worth, that's a sign that real estate agent works in the luxury market and you should look for someone with experience selling houses closer to your home's value. For buyers, if they a decent amount of closed transactions representing buyers, this is excellent news that this real estate agent knows how to find homes that match their client's needs.
Interview Multiple Agents
Before you pick an agent, it's a good idea to interview a few agents. Here are some questions you should ask each agent and why they matter:
How much experience do you have? This question tells you how long the real estate agent has been around the market and whether they are aware of current trends.
Do you do real estate full-time? Real estate agents who are part-time may have other commitments that take their attention away from serving you best.
How many clients do you have? If an agent has a substantial client list, that's another sign you might not get the attention you or your home needs to move on the market quickly.
What is your specialty? Ask if the agent specializes in representing buyers or sellers, mid-range or luxury real estate, single-family or multi-family homes, etc.
What geographical area do you specialize in? You want someone who knows the locality where you're selling or searching because they will guide you to make the best decisions along the way.
If you're still considering any particular real estate agent, ask for contact information for a few references so you can gather more information from former clients.
Trust Your Instincts
Once you have researched, interviewed, and checked references for a few agents, now is the time to select one. This is where you really can trust your instincts. If you connected with a real estate agent and there are no red flags, offer them the job of selling your home or helping you find a new one.
Don't Be Afraid to Start Over
You may be able to skip this step, but sometimes real estate agents will say whatever they know a potential client wants to hear. If things aren't going well or you don't feel like the agent you've selected has your best interest in mind, you can part ways and have another agent represent you. It's best to let your soon-to-be-former agent know that you will be seeking other representation before you agree to work with another one.