Before putting your home on the market or setting out to buy a new one, you should identify real estate agents in your community who can assist with the sale. More than two million people nationwide have licenses to sell real estate, and it’s their job to be an expert on the properties in their community. They track real estate trends and are in the business of helping others buy and sell homes. If you’re in the market for a new home, it’s wise to know how to find a real estate agent. Whether you’re a first-time property seller or someone who is looking to buy your first home or investment property, there are several ways to find a real estate agent.
Before anything else, let’s take a minute to define what a real agent actually is. As you all may already know, a real estate agent is anyone who has earned a real estate license, whether that license is as a sales professional, an associate, or a broker. Any real estate investor who plans on buying any type of real estate investment property should meticulously study out the property with a real estate agent by his or her side. Because a real estate transaction is often your biggest and most important investment, we have provided the best strategies and tips to find a real estate agent suitable for you and make real estate investing a positive experience for you!
Where to start?
First things first, you have to always keep in mind what it is you are looking for. Are you trying to find a real estate agent who will do 100% of the work for you and bring you your investment property on a gold platter? Or are you looking for an agent who can listen to you and your needs and wants? You see, there is a difference between a real estate agent who actually cares about what you’re looking and an agent who just wants to find anything to get the job done! The best agent for you is an experienced real estate professional who will listen to you, ethically conduct him/herself, and know your local housing market.
Tip #1: Referrals
Most real estate agents stay in business because satisfied clients refer them to friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Ask the people around you whom they have used and ask them to describe their experiences with this real estate agent. When you want to find a real estate agent whom can you can benefit from, always go back and ask an experienced person who went through the process and succeeded. Successful agents make customer satisfaction their number one priority and put their customers’ needs before their own. Try to find a real estate agent who goes above and beyond his/her responsibilities.
Tip #2: Search online
There are plenty of online websites for agent listings that will refer agents to you, but that is no assurance of quality. The agents they refer are those who have paid the website owners a fee to be listed in their directory. A better bet is to google the top real estate companies in your area, go to those websites, and look up profiles of individual agents at offices near you. Real estate agents who are experienced will tell you in plain view on their websites, but newer agents might have more time to spend with you. Look for customer reviews and read their comments and feedback on the real estate agent. It’s never a bad idea to go extra when it comes to real estate investing and choosing the right agent.
Tip #3: Go to open houses!
By going to open houses, you can find a real estate agent and meet in a non-threatening working environment and interact with him/her face to face. Collect business cards and record notes on them. If you’re thinking about selling your home, pay attention to how the agent is showing the home. Ask yourself questions like: “Is he/she polite and informative?” “Does he/she appear knowledgeable?” “Does he/she hand out professionally looking promotional material about the home?” “Is he/she trying to sell features of the home? Or is she sitting in a corner reading a book and drinking coffee, ignoring you?” Observe and explore all the little details to find a real estate agent who is perfect for you.
Tip #4: Use print advertisement
Real estate agents run real estate ads for two purposes. The first is to sell specific real estate. The second is to promote themselves. Look in your local community newspaper for house ads in your targeted neighborhood. Then look up the websites of the agents who are advertising them. These real estate agents could be specialists on your neighborhood. Call and ask them about their experience. You need to dig deep when you want to find a real estate agent, and a newspaper ad is a great way.
Tip #5: Recommendations from a professional
Ask other real estate agents for referrals. Agents are happy to refer buyers and sellers to associates, especially if the service you need is not a specialty of the agent who is referring you. Some real estate agents specialize in residential resales, while others work exclusively with new home builders. Other agents sell only commercial or investment property. Mortgage brokers are also a resource for agent referrals as many brokers have first-hand knowledge of exceptional agents. Professionals tend to refer other professionals like themselves.
After you’ve managed to find a real estate agent who suits your needs, there comes the time of hiring the agent. Here’s a quick checklist that you should keep in mind before hiring the real estate agent:
- Have each agent you are considering do a presentation on why you should hire him or her. Keep the information the agent provides to be sure the agent follows through with promises. Ask questions pertinent to the type of transaction you are considering.
- Ask to see the agent’s real estate license pocket card and identification. A business card is not enough.
- Ask for professional affiliations with real estate or mortgage organizations. If the agent claims professional affiliation, verify with the organization. If the agent claims to be a specialist, expert, or have certification, ask for proof.
In the end, no one said that you will be able to find a real estate agent easily and with no trouble, but when you do find the right one, the results will definitely pay off. Be sure to check out Mashvisor for the latest real estate investing trends and strategies on how to find a real estate agent near you!