How to Choose a Real Estate Agent
Deciding how to find a real estate agent you can trust? Finding the right real estate agent can be difficult. With this article, we’ll help break down terms like real estate brokerage and give you tips for how to complete a real estate agent interview, so you can feel confident about the person you select to help you find your dream home.
Where to Find a Real Estate Agent
Starting your search for a real estate agent can either seem impossible or overwhelming. Impossible, because you don’t know where to start. Or overwhelming, because you’ve been searching for a new home on one of those sites that gives you a different agent recommendation with every home that you express interest in.
It’s good to have options, of course. But finding a slew of random agents online doesn’t always feel like the best way to find the most quality options. So where should you find a real estate agent?
Go by recommendation
While it’s not always possible, if someone does recommend a real estate agent to you, they might be worth the consideration. Whoever made the recommendation already had to go through a pretty lengthy process with this person. If they walked away from the experience afterward and still felt pretty good about their real estate agent, chances are that agent is pretty good.
Of course, everyone’s experience is different and some home sales just go more smoothly than others. But some experience with a real estate agent’s work ethic is still better than none.
Pick someone that’s already been vetted
Similar to getting a recommendation, there are few people involved in the home buying process that may have references for which agent to work with. This may include the new home builders you are working with or even a mortgage company that you’ve been considering. These recommendations could be useful if the organization making the recommendation has its own vetting process.
If you take one of these recommendations, ask the organization more about their vetting process. What are the minimum qualifications for the agents they choose to work with? Do they have a process for keeping agents that get the highest reviews?
Real Estate Agent Interview Questions
If you can’t find a real estate agent that has been vetted by someone else, you might have to do the vetting yourself. Plus, even if you are working with someone that was recommended to you, it’s good to have some of your own questions to ask. Here are our top real estate agent interview questions. But keep in mind, interview questions aren’t the only way to vet an agent.
If you’re worried about building trust, consider asking these questions:
How many years have you been an agent?
Can I see your license?
Do you have any references?
If you’re worried about your agent having enough time to take you on as a client:
How many clients do you have?
Do you work alone or with a team?
If you want the right agent for your situation:
Are you familiar with the area?
Do you know about state loan programs?
Do you work with many first-time homebuyers?
If you’re worried about costs:
What is your commission fee?
Is your commission negotiable?
While asking direct interview questions to your real estate agent may be a start, there are other things you might want to feel out too, and those things might not be as obvious. Other things you might want to learn about your agent are what their negotiation tactics are. Will they be invested in helping you get the best deal?
You might also want to observe how much information they provide you about prospective places before you arrive. Do they show up on time? Do they ask questions that you don’t think of and follow up with answers? Do they help by asking questions that get you closer to finding the home that you’re looking for? Are they willing to navigate you away from a not-so-smart investment even though they stand to make a good commission?
Real Estate Agents vs. Real Estate Brokerage
What are real estate brokers and are they different from real estate agents? Real estate agents have a professional license to help people buy, sell, or rent a home. More often than not, you’ll probably be working directly with an agent if you’re trying to buy or sell your home. But if you want to work with someone that has more experience, working directly with a real estate broker or real estate brokerage firm is also a possibility.
Brokers are real estate agents who have completed additional training and licensing requirements. They can work independently and hire other real estate agents to work for them.
Inevitably, your real estate agent will be under a broker no matter what though. And doing some research on the real estate brokerage that your agent works for can help you better vet an agent that you might be interested in working with.
Deciding how to find a real estate agent that you trust can be a challenge, but it’s worth doing your research. When you work with an agent that you trust, you’re more likely to feel good about the final decision when it comes to your home. And a good agent can help save you money and guide you in the direction that makes the most sense for you. If you can’t find a good real estate agent recommendation, try conducting your own real estate agent interview. Or just keep an eye out for the qualities you’re looking for, observe them for a while, and move forward when you feel good about the relationship.
Contributed to Your Home blog
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