You are about to enter into a relationship with someone. It could last a week, or maybe six months. You will have to work together and be sure that the other person as your best interest at heart. They may not be buying you a steak dinner, but they are going to help you buy or sell your house (which is sort of a bigger deal). So, how do you know you found the right agent? Here are 5 tips to help you get started:
- Chemistry. (Yeah, chemistry) I realize it sounds odd, but the most important thing about this working relationship is that you have to get along. Find an agent you feel comfortable talking to because you are going to have to do a lot of that. You need to also feel comfortable asking questions and sometimes working through sticky situations. In the end, they want to do a great job for you, but you have to work with them, too. First impressions are everything, so if you don’t get a good vibe, interview another option.
- Follow through. Many agents will show up with a big flashy presentation about all the wonderful things they will do to help you buy and sell your house. That’s great, but how do you know they are actually going to do it? Before committing to someone, ask for references or do some research on your own. If Agent M says he promotes all his listings on social media and you can’t find ONE example of it, maybe he isn’t a solid option.
- Local Realtor = Market Knowledge. Real estate agents are generally licensed throughout the entire state, which means they can help you find a house anywhere using MLS listing services. However, a local agent might have more knowledge about your neighborhood and property interests. If you want to buy a house near Southington, CT, an agent from Fairfield might not be the best option simply because they do not know the area as well. Ask around for local recommendations or talk to friends and family about past experiences. A good agent will know the market well enough to get you the best deal possible.
- Their Title. Agent, broker, Realtor– it’s all the same, right? Wrong. An agent is anyone who took classes and passed a state exam, but a Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. This means they have a code of ethics they must adhere to, and that they will be even more committed to your cause.
- Presence. Before deciding on an agent, look them up. In today’s market, almost every home search starts online. Make sure your agent has an online presence and is willing to try new marketing strategies to target today’s home buyers. If they aren’t willing to change their outdated practices, find someone who is. You want the best representation of your home, the most up-to-date resources to find a new home, and an agent that can help you the entire way.