The best real estate investments start with finding the best real estate agent. However, the question is, how do you go about that process in the first place?
When buying an investment property through a real estate agent, representation is what you are looking for. This type of transaction requires that you deal with the best real estate agents who actually recognize a good deal from a distance. So, without further ado, what is it that you are supposed to look for in an agent to find the best one if you’re buying an investment property?
First: Real Estate Agent vs. a Broker vs. REALTOR®
Before we even start with the best real estate agent criteria list, let’s make sure you know the difference between the terms. First of all, an agent is someone who underwent basic real estate training and has passed the state licensing exam. This means that anyone can become a real estate agent as long as he/she learns the basics of the industry. Moreover, an agent is expected to keep taking a certain amount of training hours in order to renew his/her license.
Unlike an agent, a real estate broker is someone who has gone through more training and has acquired more specialized knowledge of the field. Also, a broker is expected to take additional courses in order to sustain their license. As for their business, brokers are allowed to open their own real estate agencies and work independently.
Related: The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Real Estate Broker
Finally, a REALTOR® is a broker who is a member of the National Association for Realtors. In other words, these are brokers who have committed to the strict code of ethics of this association. This, in fact, puts more pressure and responsibility on the broker to represent his/her real estate client in the best way possible. It also gives better credibility to the broker you are working with.
Related: The Best Realtor Websites for US Real Estate
You may want to consider the differences among these real estate agent titles when choosing one to work with. Now that we’ve got this out of the way, what else should you look for in the best real estate agent for buying an investment property?
Second: Location Criteria for the Best Real Estate Agent
When looking for the best real estate agent to work with, it is important that you think of the location first. For this, you need to be asking yourself “What is my location of choice for buying an investment property?” This has a huge impact on your choice of real estate agent. If your answer is “I’m looking for houses for sale near me,” then simply look for agents near you. If not, then make sure the agent is from your location of choice (or specializes in the area) for all your real estate transactions.
The reason for this criteria is that a real estate agent in a certain neighborhood knows all about the real estate market there. They will know if it’s a seller’s market or a buyer’s market and how to act. And you will have someone who knows whether it’s worth buying a second home to rent out in that area. As a result, performing a comparative market analysis for investment properties in that neighborhood would be a piece of cake for him/her due to familiarity.
Third: Type of Agent
I bet you did not see this one coming, huh? Well, yes. There is a difference between a property seller and a property buyer in the market. Each has a different interest in the investment property- one is selling to profit and the other is buying to invest in real estate. Therefore, there is a difference between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent. Each will represent your interest in the investment property accordingly.
Also, there is a difference between a real estate investor and someone who is looking for a home to live in. The first would definitely want to hire an investor agent. Investor agents know exactly how to buy a rental property. Therefore, they will make sure they get you the ones that have the potential for a high rate of return.
The best real estate agent is one who does not mind sharing information on past deals with you. In other words, you must ask your agent to show you their work in the last year and he/she must provide it at all times. If not, I think you might want to reconsider that particular agent.
Another important thing to ask for is the license, certificates, and any other awards they have received for their work. For this, you will have to interview your real estate agent and find out other things as well. Testing their knowledge also plays a major role in your choice of a real estate agent. No matter what, never shy away from asking questions related to the real estate market. I mean, come on! A real estate agent who does not know how to buy a rental property or how to perform a real estate market analysis or any of the essentials is definitely not the best real estate agent out there.
What else should you ask? Ask if he/she personally invests in real estate, of course!
This is a very important question to ask. Real estate agents who own an investment property know what they’re doing. They know what you, as an investor, are looking for. Most importantly, they know that you’re looking for a profitable rental property. So the best real estate agent would put that extra effort in order to find it for you!
Fifth: Methods of Finding the Best Real Estate Agent
Sure enough, we are not going to leave you midway. Now that you know what to look for in an agent, let’s get to where you can find a real estate agent in the first place.
One of the best ways to look for a good agent is referrals. Check people around you- either family, friends, or work colleagues- and ask if they have dealt with real estate agents before. Ask them a few questions and make sure you ask about their experience with that agent. Believe us, you ask one family member and they’ll get you a whole list of the top performing agents in your area of interest! After all, isn’t that what family does?
Another good way to find a top performing agent is through websites. For example, using the MLS listings website is very helpful in that way. There are many properties that are listed by agents and you can find out more about these agents there.
When looking for the best real estate agent, you can also rely on Mashvisor. With our listings of the best real estate agents, you won’t need to look any further. Our listings are based on the state and city of your choice. Therefore, you will get the location thing figured out right away.
Click here to find a top performing real estate agent now.
If you’d prefer, you can book an appointment with one of our team members to learn more about how we can connect you with the best real estate agent.
Related: Real Estate Websites for Real Estate Agents and Investors