How to Find a Realtor That’s a Perfect Fit For You
It’s one of the biggest decisions you will make in life. The home buying or selling process is a long and sometimes daunting one. So, you want to ensure you’re placing your time and trust in the right hands. More than 5.51 million homes were sold last year, not even including newly constructed properties. That number began with many homeowners looking to find a realtor and not just any realtor, the perfect realtor.
Just because someone has a license to sell doesn’t mean they are right for your unique situation. The right realtor should be sales savvy, with experience and a trusted reputation in your market. Follow this guide to vet potential agents, and find the best realtor for your needs.
Seek Personal Recommendations
Referrals are your friend. Ask your neighbors, work colleagues, or family members for realtor recommendations. When it comes to finding the right realtor, 33% of buyers used a recommendation. Do a bit of community outreach and see which realtors reputations fair well in your area. Word of mouth referrals is an honest and quick way to gather information before making your decision.
Be sure to ask if the realtor specializes in buying or selling, and how their experience relates to your situation. If you’re planning to sell your house to buy another, you’ll want someone well-versed in both transaction types. If you’re relocating to a completely new area, ask your current broker’s office for recommendations. When coming from a trusted source you’ll feel much more confident about your realtor’s credentials.
Don’t forget the importance of technology in real estate. For example, say you want to find a realtor to help you search for Rio Rancho homes for sale. Take those keywords to Google and search for qualified local agents, with stellar online reviews.
Ask Questions, Questions, and More Questions
Whether buying or selling, the process is going to leave you with many questions (especially if you’re a first-time buyer).
Your realtor should be knowledge powerhouse and share a wealth of information with you, such as:
- Housing market how-tos
- What to expect during the buying and selling process
- Financial expectations
- Property details/taxes/disclosures
- Community and school information
- Market trends
- Comparative market analysis
- Vendor recommendations for title companies, inspectors, and lawyers
When asking these questions, your realtor should give timely responses. They should also be able to work with your communication preferences via email, text, or in-person meetings.
How well they communicate with you is a clear sign of how serious they take their job. In a seller’s market, homes move quick so your realtor should be just as fast.
Research Past and Current Listings
Agents who are good at their job get lots of listings. While this is a good thing, you want to ensure they also have the time to dedicate to you. Find out the average amount of clients the realtor works with. A good balance of listings indicates they have experience and can handle the pressure of finding or selling your dream home.
Top selling real estate agents with a high volume of clients most likely have an assistant or someone to help with the workload. You want to ensure they or someone from their team will be readily available when needed.
When vetting out listings, pay attention to price points. These will, of course, vary depending on the home, market, and value, but can at least provide some insight. Look to see what previous homes have listed and sold for. The best realtors are also good negotiators and should be able to get the right price for your home.
Perform a Background Check
Don’t be afraid to do some digging. Thanks to the internet, the realtor’s previous sales, experience and reputation among the community shouldn’t be hard to find. You want to make sure the agent has an up-to-date license for the state you are located in. For bonus points, look into whether they have any extra awards or credentials.
Get a feel for how long the realtor has been in business in your area. It doesn’t hurt to have you or a friend drop by an open house. This will give you a chance to see how the agent relates to others on a personal level. Ask for references. It’s always helpful to have non-rehearsed and real-world accounts of how the realtor has handled past transactions.
Look for That Bit of Extra
There are over 2 million licensed realtors in America. Some are decent and some are very good at their jobs. When selling, it’s important to know what real estate tools and tactics they will use to market your home. Are they an out of the box thinker? More creative realtors are using social media marketing and video production to go that extra mile.
Realty can be so much more targeted than buying and selling homes in a select area. Some clients are looking for a lifelong investment, while others are flipping houses. Each situation is unique, and your realtor should be able to mold to your specific needs.
Some realtors have specialties in specific property types. Pay attention to their niche (luxury, gated communities, vacation properties, single-family, etc.) and whether it’s relevant to your situation.
Trust Your Gut
A realtor is a person, and if you don’t mesh, or feel something is off, there’s a reason for it. Ask yourself, who’s doing all the work? If it seems you are finding new homes faster than your realtor is sending them to you, this could be a red flag. Yes, realtors work with other clients, but you should still feel like a priority.
Does the realtor keep you well informed throughout the process? There should be frequent and open communication about new leads or new listings. If you’re having a hard time getting answers or results, you may need to change things up.
Say you’ve matched up with a great realtor to sell your home and things are clicking. While they are out promoting your property, follow these tips to speed up the sale of your home.
Find a Realtor for Life
Once you find a realtor that can lead you to your dream home, don’t let them go.
You’ve closed on your new home, popped the champagne and unpacked all the boxes. But it might not be over yet, because right now is the time to invest in real estate. Learn more about how investment properties are a smart move, not only from an extra income standpoint.
Be sure to share the wealth, and recommend your new realtor to friends and family.