Finding a good Realtor for buying a house is a lot like, well, nothing you've ever done before. It's not like finding a babysitter, a dentist or even a trustworthy mechanic (although a good Realtor probably knows where you can find all of the above).
It's different because buying a house is so intimate and one of the heftiest financial decisions you'll ever make. The best real estate agents are aware of that.
Not sure where to start? Here's what to look for in a Realtor:
1. Your friend says they're awesome
Use your network. For example, if you're moving for work, ask your boss or your co-workers for a referral. Chances are, they'll have a recommendation. And if a friend refers an agent you don't think is great, that's OK. You always have the option of finding someone different.
2. They've got good reviews online
If you have the name of a potential real estate agent, do a quick search online for reviews or testimonials. If they have a strong and positive online presence, that's a good indicator they are an experienced professional you can trust.
3. They show you what you want to see
In other words, they listen to you. If a real estate agent drives you to a neighborhood you're not into, and they keep trying to convince you it's awesome, break up with them. Your agent should listen to your wants as well as your feedback and use those to help refine the home search. Wanting to see more or different options should never be a problem.
4. They're timely and responsive
Especially in a seller's market, it's important that your real estate agent responds to you and moves quickly. If your Realtor takes days to call you back, then it's probably time to find one who has time to focus on your needs, as opposed to their own.
5. They pay attention to detail, even when texting
It might not seem like a big deal, but if your agent is constantly misspelling texts and emails, that could be a red flag. They should be able to navigate every detail in the legal transaction of buying or selling a home and be up to speed on the ever-changing laws and regulations. If they seem to miss the little details, they could miss some big ones, too.
Overall, your Realtor should be pleasant, thoughtful and on top of your needs. If for any reason you’re not getting a good vibe, you know what to look for in a Realtor, and you can always search for another person.
Keep it up. You're getting smarter about home buying.
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