If you’re getting ready to buy your first home, finding a good real estate agent is the first step. Not only will they help you find the house that is right for you, but they can be a great resource for advice. The right real estate agent will be knowledgeable about the home-buying process and will be full of referrals to other important vendors.
Why It’s Important to Get a Real Estate Agent
If you are a first-time homebuyer, having the expertise of an experienced real estate agent is invaluable. They will be able to share advice with you and help guide you through the process. Real estate agents have access to information and databases that standard homebuyers do not. They will be able to see all houses available in your area. Experienced real estate agents know what to look for and what to avoid and will be able to help you find a house that fits well within your needs and your budget. Their expertise in your area and the real estate market will be crucial throughout your home buying experience.
How to Find a Real Estate Agent
If you have friends or family in the area who have purchased a home, they may be able to refer you to the real estate agent that they used. This is one of the best ways to find a real estate agent, as you already know what to expect.
Scope Out Houses for Sale
Drive around and take note of all of the “for sale” and “sold” signs in your area. These signs typically have the real estate agent who worked with the homeowners on them. Look them up and see if their credentials match what you are looking for. This is a great way to find agents in your area who are clearly familiar with the market and are able to close deals.
The same online resources that you will use to look up homes for sale in your area are also great tools for finding local real estate agents. Look up listings within your desired zip code and check out which real estate agents are behind these properties. Reach out to a few of them and see who is the right fit.
Attend Open Houses
Open houses are a great way to meet local real estate agents in person and get a feel for their personalities. You can also get a chance to see them in action and get a better feel for their expertise.
Important Questions to Ask Real Estate Agents
Once you have scoped out the real estate agents you think may be a good fit for you, ask them some questions. They will all have different areas of expertise that you should get to know about before selecting one. Below are some questions you can ask to help you decide on a real estate agent:
What experience do you have in this area?
Your real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the area. They will be able to provide more information on the vibes of different neighborhoods and areas, commutes, and other important information.
How long have you been a real estate agent?
There is no right answer to this question. It really depends on your preferences. A more experienced agent will likely know the market better and have a good handle on negotiating. But, a newer agent who still has some experience will also be fresher and have more up-to-date education and training.
Do you work with a team?
Once again, whether or not this is a benefit depends on what you prefer from a real estate agent. If they work with a team, you will likely have more people who are able to help you. However, working with many people can also affect communication between yourself and your actual real estate agent.
How many clients do you currently have?
If your real estate agent is new or isn’t full-time, you can expect a lower number. However, if they are an experienced, full-time agent with a low client count, that could raise some red flags. On the other hand, too many clients are also a red flag. You won’t get the time and attention you need if they have too many other clients they are already working with.
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