As we navigate through life, we will be faced with some pretty big decisions. One of those big decisions is buying a house! Purchasing a house is a huge investment and you need to make sure that you’re working with a realtor who isn’t going to do their best to get you a great home.
Lots of people go online to search for a realtor, but there’s over a million realtors doing business around the country and it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed by it all. We want to help you out, so here are our top tips for finding a trustworthy realtor. With these tips, your hunt for a realtor should be a little less overwhelming.
1. Understand what you want in a realtor
As with any other business arrangement, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want out of that relationship. With a realtor, you need to consider things like:
- Their preferred method of communication
- Can they be reached by phone or is email the best option?
- Their availability
- Do they need to be available 24/7 or are you more flexible
- Decision making
- Do you want your agent to consult you or can the agent act on your behalf?
2. Trust your intuition
Whether you’re meeting an agent in person or if you’re just communicating via phone or email, you need to trust your intuition. If the agent is giving you an uneasy feeling when you’re interacting, then you may need to end things and go with another agent. Also, if the agent is trying to push you to sign any documents or go above your price range, terminate the arrangement and run as fast as you can!
3. Technology is a helpful tool
Physical real estate offices are still around, but more often than not they serve as a hub for appointments, meetings with existing clients, or closings – you may not be able to find an agent in every office. The internet is the preferred way people like to find their real estate agents, and that’s not a bad thing. You can easily do a google search and find a boat load of local realtors to contact!
4. Go beyond Google to do research
Google is a great starting point when you’re looking for an agent, but you don’t want to just stop there. You need to do a little bit of research beyond the reviews you find on Google results. You can join a Facebook group for residents of your desired city or neighborhood and ask for recommendations. If you know people at work or in your social circle who have recently purchased a house, ask their opinions. Real life advice and input regarding real estate agents should hold more weight than just the reviews online.
5. Get to know the realtors
Once you’ve done some research and you’ve found agents that you’d like to speak with, give them a call and ask if they’re available to chat with you. If so, ask them a few questions regarding their work history, their marketing techniques, if they have past clients who you could speak to and so forth.
6. Inquire about their professional connections
Another important piece of information you should ask potential agents is in regard to their professional connections. The agent should have a list of trusted professionals you can contact for various services related to the home buying process and being a homeowner (lenders, home appraisers and inspectors, contractors, and so on).
7. Knowledge is key
During the beginning stages of the home buying process, you’ve probably used a home affordability calculator to get an idea of what your budget would be like. When you chat with an agent, mention your budget and see if they can work within your budget. Agents who know the area well should be able to tell you the median price range, what amenities you’re likely to find in that range, and whether or not you have negotiation power. The agent you choose should be to answer your questions with certainty and you should feel confident in their skills as a realtor.
8. Hire your agent
After all of the researching and interviewing, now is the time to choose your realtor. Look over your notes and see which agent is the most knowledgeable about the area and has the best reputation. Ask yourself if this agent is the most capable of finding your dream home and can get it at the best price. Trying to figure out when the best timing for contacting a realtor doesn’t always coincide with your plans.The realtor you choose is going to be your guide throughout the homebuying experience, so you want to make sure you’re picking someone that you feel most confident in working with.