Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in life. For many, home buying marks a significant milestone so it’s important that you do it right from the start.
This is where the work of a realtor comes in. Realtors play an important role in helping homeowners choose a dream home at a good price, hassle-free. But how do you go about choosing the right realtor for your needs?
- Ask for references and talk to recent clients. Before you move forward with any potential realtor, it’s necessary to do your homework by talking to recent clients. Ask them to provide you with a list of contacts, including properties they’ve listed and sold over the last year or two. Getting in touch with past clients should be fairly easy – just ask them if they would or wouldn’t recommend a realtor, and why. It would also help if you ask previous sellers what their asking price was compared to the sales price.
- Only work with licensed realtors. This should be a no-brainer; your state should have a complete list of licensed real estate agents. Research state regulatory boards to see if prospective agents are licensed, as well as to check if there have been past complaints or disciplinary actions that have been taken.
- Choose a realtor with relevant credentials. Just like doctors have their own specializations, so do realtors. Even general realtors usually have training in certain real-estate related areas. Ask realtors if they’ve taken additional classes in certain categories, such as residential real estate, representing buyers in transactions, or those who have training dealing with buyers and sellers who are aged 50 and above.
- Ask the realtor how long they’ve been in the business. While experience won’t necessarily equate to success, an agent who’s been in service for a long period of time is a sign that they’re doing a good job. Remember; realtors earn from commissions, and it would be extremely difficult to survive for a long period of time if you are providing terrible service. Additionally, realtors who have been exposed to different situations will have the skills needed to navigate even the stickiest real estate situations.
- Choose a realtor that specializes in the location that you’re after. There are realtors that are expert at certain neighborhoods, and there are also those who will fly to another part of the country to close a sale. Ideally, you’ll want a realtor in the middle who is capable of working in, as well as around, your primary location of interest.