How to Choose a Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home
Buying a home is a big decision and a huge investment. You'll be spending your time, energy, and hard-earned cash on the purchase so it's only natural to want to position yourself for success.
Part of the positioning process is finding a good real estate agent. While you may know a great deal about some pieces of the real estate market, agents are certified in the field, know the market, and have the negotiation power to find you a great bargain. However, finding a real estate agent is a personal decision that may take some time. Here are some things to look for when solidifying your agent:
Top Five Characteristics of A Good Realtor
- Good Listener
- Respectful (Budget & Time)
- Educated and Experienced
- Good Communicator
Listening is an extremely important skill for any sales role. Realtors must connect with their clients on a more personal level and will get to know their unique style, preferences, and desires in a home. As a home buyer you want a real estate agent who can collect your wish list and deliver on a product. If you feel misunderstood or unheard during the initial phases of the relationship, it may be time to reevaluate your choice.
Good realtors are respectful and professional in all client encounters. Respect comes in many forms, but good realtors are especially respectful of the established budget and your time. They won't venture to show you a home that is out of budget if they don't think they can negotiate the asking price to within your range. Likewise, they'll schedule showings and meetings at times that are most convenient for the client. This level of respect builds trust and is critical to a successful partnership. If you get the vibe that your realtor is pushy or nonchalant about your requirements, move on.
Educated and Experienced
It goes without saying that you want a realtor that has some formal training in the business. In your initial discussions ask the realtor questions about their educational background. Did they go to college? Where did they obtain their license? How often do they seek continuing education opportunities? You'll also want to question them about their experience in the field. Ask them to provide data regarding their sales, average number of clients, as well as some of their biggest negotiated wins. You'll get a taste for their experience via this brief interview which will allow you to make a more informed decision about moving forward.
The real estate business is largely dependent on connections. You should do your research online. Check out your realtors online profiles and take a gander at their social connections. If they're well-connected and well-liked by the community you can bet they'll have the inside scoop on the housing marketing which could give you a leg up during negotiation time.
Communication is key during the home buying process. You should get a feel for how your realtor likes to communicate: text, phone call, email? You should also establish hours of operation and the expectation for response times. This conversation ensures the expectations are clear from the beginning and will allow you to understand if the realtor can meet your needs.
These are just a few of the top qualities you'll want to consider as you search for a realtor. Buying a new home is a big decision and you'll want the best in the business in your corner as you pursue this exciting journey.