How to find a good real estate agent

Posted by thgreedy on May 17th, 2019

Where can I find a real estate agent?

Many people looking for a real estate agent rely on references from family and friends.

Buying or selling a home is an important decision, both financially and emotionally. Working with an agent who has been referred to you by someone you trust can help you feel more comfortable with the process.

In addition, you will spend a lot of time with the agent you have chosen. It is important to work with someone you love.

"The people [with whom your friends and family] get along are more likely to be," says Amanda Jones, real estate agent at Long & Foster Realtors in northern Virginia.

Although referrals are a good starting point, this does not mean that you should hire the first agent you meet. Take the time to interview a few candidates to make sure you find someone who has the professional expertise you need and who fits your situation.

If you cannot find an agent you like thanks to a recommendation from someone you know, here are some other options to consider.

Drive in your neighborhood. Check out the "For Sale" signs for real estate agents who work in your area.

Open doors. Attend a few open houses and talk to the agent selling the house. You can find someone with whom you click.

Search engines online. There are several online directories listing real estate agents by zip code. Examples include realtor.com and zillow.com.

What type of real estate agent do I need?

Before you start looking for an agent, think about the type you need. Some represent the seller. Some represent the buyer. And some do both. Here is a brief explanation of each.

Agent of the buyer

As you can guess, an agent of the buyer represents the buyer in a real estate transaction. This includes looking for ads in the buyer's price range, scheduling displays, taking direction at the time of bidding and negotiating with the seller to get the best deal possible for the buyer. 'Buyer. When the contract is accepted, the agent directs the buyer through the closing process.

Sales agent

Now, here is where it can get a bit confusing. When a seller accepts the buyer's contract, the agent representing the buyer becomes the sales agent because it is the responsibility of that person to "sell" the home to the buyer. The terms "sales agent" and "buyer agent" are often used interchangeably. But the important thing to remember is that the agent continues to represent the interests of the buyer.

Seller's agent

On the other hand, the seller's agent - also called the listing agent - represents the seller's interest. An agent of the seller makes recommendations on the selling price of a house, lists the goods sold in the inter-agency service (MLS) and markets them. The seller's agent also organizes open houses and negotiates on behalf of the seller.

If you use the same agent to sell your existing home and help you buy a new one, your agent acts as the seller's agent when selling your current home and buyer's agent when buying from your home. your new home.

Your real estate agent's obligations to you

When choosing an agent, you are usually asked to sign a buyer's contract (if you buy) or a registration agreement (if you sell). When signing with an agent, he or she is usually obliged to act in your best interest.

But what if your buyer's agent is also the listing agent for a property you want to buy or vice versa? This is called the dual agency, and it's legal in many states. However, this can make it more difficult to represent the interests of buyers and sellers.

If your agent has a double agency, your agent must tell you. It's up to you to understand all potential conflicts of interest and decide if you want to work with someone who not only represents you in the transaction. This is a delicate situation, so you must proceed with caution. Make sure you have a full and candid conversation with the agent before you sign up.

What should I look for at a real estate agent?

Buying or selling a home is an important decision. Therefore, "you want a person who will negotiate for you and who has your best interest at heart," said Jones.

Here are some things to look for when choosing an agent.

Agents must be licensed in the state in which they practice. You can find out if an agent is licensed by checking the website of your state's real estate board. You may also notice that some real estate professionals have a real estate agent designation. In addition to being licensed, these people are members of the National Association of Realtors. They are committed to a strict code of ethics designed to protect you throughout the process.

Market knowledge. A good agent needs to know the real estate market in your area. An experienced agent can give you an idea of ​​the market, tell you how long it takes for the houses to sell and if they sell mainly at a price higher, equal to or lower than the asking price. This can help you determine the price of your home if you sell and how to structure your offer if you buy.

When you buy or sell a home, time is often essential, and you need to know the best way to communicate with your agent. Do you prefer text messages, emails or phone calls? A bit of everyone? Make sure your agent knows your preferred means of communication and is ready to accompany you.

An experienced agent can help you relax at every step of the home buying or selling process. In addition, agents who have been in real estate for a while have had the time to develop their professional networks. This can help you attract potential buyers when you sell - and understand in detail the homes that will soon be on the market if you buy.

You may have to see dozens of homes before you find the one you want to buy. Choose an agent who will be able to show you homes at a time that suits you.

If you sell your home, make sure your agent's ideas on how to market your home match your expectations. Find out about the latest sales of houses similar to yours in the neighborhood to make sure the price of your property is correct. Find out how your agent plans to attract potential buyers and tell the same page how fast your house could sell.

Level of comfort. "There has to be compassion and understanding - it's not just a huge financial decision, but a lot of emotions," said Jones. It is therefore important to work with someone you love and with whom you can be honest and who will be honest with you. Choose someone who understands what you want and will put your needs first.

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