5 Tips for Finding the Right Realtor for You
Buying the home of your dreams can be an exciting yet daunting process. Having the right people in your corner can help alleviate stress and make the process easier. That's why it's important to properly vet who you work with. But what exactly are the steps to finding the right realtor for you?
1. Get Someone with the Right Experience
The right realtor for you is the one who has the right experience. First, look at how long the realtor has been in business. Have they been in business one year, five years, or more? Real estate is the sort of business where experience matters.
Aside from knowing how long they've been in business, ask any prospective realtor which areas they serve and if they've worked with people who had a similar budget to yours. Ideally, your realtor can find exactly what you're looking for in your desired neighborhood within your price point—the best way to determine if they can work for your needs is if they've sold a similar home. Look at their latest transactions to uncover what neighborhoods they work in and what their current client base is like.
2. Discover Their Working Style
Buying a home will probably be the biggest purchase you ever make, so you want someone who will be there to support you throughout the journey. Ask how many clients, on average, does the realtor work with per year. Do they work solo or as part of a team? What can you expect from a communication standpoint? Having all this laid out upfront can help ensure there's less guessing and frustration as the process ramps up.
3. Check Their Credentials
Finding the right realtor means doing a little legwork on your own before beginning to work together. Check your prospective realtor's credentials. What licenses do they have? Do they have any awards or accomplishments of note? Do they have references, like past clients, you can talk to?
Check your state's regulatory entity to see if your agent is licensed or if they have any negative complaints against them. Additionally, there may be reviews from past customers on an online real estate site. Do your research, dig beneath the surface and ask the tough questions.
4. Trust the Numbers
The numbers don't lie and can be a window into the success of your realtor. Find out how many homes they have helped consumers buy each year. For their past few real estate transactions, ask what the asking price was compared to the sale price. Can they ensure that they'll work to get you what you want within your budget?
You don't typically pay a realtor by the hour as many are commission-based and their commission and any other fees are likely rolled into the price. Ask what their commission price or percentage is and how that will affect the final price of the home. Look at all of these numbers and evaluate if this person can make sure you get what you want at the price you need.
5. Find a Realtor Who Gets to Know You
Your perfect realtor doesn't treat you like a number or a chore. Look for a realtor who will sit down with you, figure out your wants and needs, ask questions throughout the process and will put your mind at ease about buying your new home. You want a realtor who feels more like a trusted advisor or friend who has your best interest at heart. It's also important to trust your gut. While first impressions can be wrong, take it into consideration if your instincts are telling you not to work with someone, even if you're not sure why. The right realtor is someone you feel comfortable with and who cares about your journey into homeownership.