While it might not actually be that simple, one of the most important things you can do when buying and selling a home is spending the time to find the right agent for you! The right agent can turn a stressful and difficult situation into one that is positive and that ends with positive results. How do you know if you have found the right agent? Here are some tips to guide you through the process.
Do the legwork
Finding the agent that is right for you takes a little bit of work. Scrolling through and picking an agent from the first page of a Google search isn’t guaranteed to have good results! It is a great first step in getting a list of agents/agencies you might want to call, but there are other ways!
1. Ask your family and friends for referrals.
2. Look around your neighborhood. Which agents have sold and for sale signs?
3. Read reviews online of the agencies and agents you are considering interviewing/meeting. Check out their social media, including responses to and from clients.
4. Ask your neighbors who they have worked with and what they thought were the positives and negatives.
Meet with multiple agents
You can get a good sense of a person on the phone, but choosing someone to help you with the biggest purchase/sale in your life, is a pretty big deal, so it is best to meet them in person.
1. Pick three to four agents that you have a good gut feeling about and whom you have researched!
2. Meet with all of them in person. Schedule 30-60 minutes. Great agents will be eager to meet with you too because they want to make sure it is a good fit as well. *If an agent seems to lack motivation to meet, then move on!
3. Trust your instincts because you want to get this right. Be upfront with them if you decide you want to go in another direction.
What are you looking for?
• He/She needs to be someone you feel comfortable around. You will need to be very upfront and honest with your agent, and so, you want someone that makes you feel confident in saying it like it is.
• You need an agent with a good reputation who has been in the business for awhile. It doesn’t mean that new agents can’t be great, but this is a big and important decision, so make sure they know what they are doing regardless of experience (training, licenses, familial business background, etc…)
• You need an agent that knows the in’s and out’s (market, demographics, etc…)of the location you are looking to buy in or sell in; this is important in helping you find the home of your dreams or to sell at the right price and time.
• You need an agent that gets things done. He/She has to know how to keep transactions moving and will be on top of your sale/buy.
• Find out about their negotiation skills. You need an agent that isn’t afraid to make difficult phone calls, to call out other agents, and to negotiate the best deal for you.
• Even though this is a business transaction, personally, it is good to have an agent that almost feels like a trusted mentor, solid friend, or a business partner. This will help foster a great relationship and transaction.
Here are some helpful questions to ask as you meet with agents and determine which agent is the perfect fit for you. Examine the chemistry you have and your ability to be vocal and honest with them. Try to get a feel for their personality and whether or not it will gel with your’s.
• What are your greatest strengths/skills as an agent?
• What inspired you to go into real estate?
• How many years have you been an agent?
• What special training have you acquired?
• Who handles your communications? Can I expect to talk to you when I have a question or someone else? How quickly are you able to get back to your clients?
• What do you look for in a new client?
• Please tell me about your most difficult client and how you handled it.
• What do you know about the neighborhood where I live?
• What do you know about the neighborhood where I want to buy a house?
• How many homes have you sold recently?
• What is the market like right now? What will be the challenges I will have in buying/selling right now?
• What is your process once I choose you as an agent?
• Do you have any clients I can call for references?
• How will you market my home?
• What is your commission percentages, and please explain what that entails?
When you sell or buy a home, it is a hefty decision. You need the right people alongside you to help you make the most informed decisions. You need an educator who is willing to teach you as you go! You also need a bulldog who is going to go after what you want and need! And finally, you need a champion whose goal it is to see you achieve the goals you have, so take your time if you can, do your research, and trust your gut!