Once you’ve decided that you’re buying or selling a home, the next logical thing to do would be to look for a real estate agent. This is not always a straightforward process. You could be a first-time homebuyer and you’re clueless about the process. There are agents that will want to take advantage of those that are going through the process for the first time. It is crucial that you’re vigilant because the agent that you choose will play a big role in the type of house that you get. Here are some tips that will come in handy if you’re looking for a real estate agent.
Talk to the Lender First
You should start by talking to the lender first before searching for a real estate agent. When you talk to a lender, you’re able to determine how much you can afford. This information is crucial because it will determine the house that you’re going to look for. When you get preapproved for a loan, you will know the maximum amount that you can get from the lender. This will inform you of the types of houses that you should look for. You get to stick to a house that is within your price range.
Instead of starting the research on the internet, you should look for referrals from your network. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations. Ideally, you should be looking for someone that has experience helping clients who are in a similar situation. You might be a first-time homebuyer with no experience whatsoever regarding the process. A good agent will ensure that you’re getting the best possible service. Your friends and family are likely to know of an agent that you can trust. Make sure that the agent is a member of the National Association of Realtors.
Research Potential Agents
Once you’ve done the shortlisting, the next thing to do would be to research the potential candidates. You can start by looking at their online presence. Do they have an updated website? Social media can be a powerful tool to aid in the research. You want to take note of how they respond to customers’ questions and concerns. An agent with one or two negative reviews should not be a cause of concern. You should be worried when there are a lot of complaints.
You should interview at least three candidates so that you have options when it comes to the selection process. The interviewing stage is when you get to have a firsthand account of the experience of the realtor you intend to work with. You also get to find out their preferred method of communication, which is crucial when dealing with a real estate agent. There are those like Networth Buyers Agents that value open and transparent communication to ensure that the client is feeling at ease. If you’re not comfortable with the person, then they might not be the agent for you. That is why it is important that you’re interviewing at least three candidates.
You should never be afraid to ask for references if you’re not sure of the credibility of the real estate agent. A good agent should have listed and sold a couple of units in the last year. They will be more than happy to provide a contact list for clients that have benefited because of their experience. Call the references to ask them about their experience with the realtor and if they found what they were looking for.
Examine the Contract
The contract will have all the details regarding the agreement between you and the real estate agent. It should clearly spell out the terms of the agreement and the commission structure for the real estate agent. It is expected that the seller pays up to 6% of the price of the home as commission. The commission rate is negotiable. Whatever you agree with the agent should be in writing so that there are no potential issues down the line. Another important factor you should be keeping in mind is the length of the contract. In a competitive market, the agent should be able to sell a home in 30 days. If your home is still on the market after 90 days, it could be time to look for a new realtor.
To sum it up, you need to go with your gut when searching for a real estate agent. Having a good rapport is important because you might be communicating with the person for a while.