All you have to do is look at the lawn signs in your neighborhood to know that there are dozens if not hundreds of Realtors to choose from in your area – so how do you find an amazing one?
The best way is to ask your friends and family if they know anyone they can recommend. Whether you’re buying or selling, its important to find the right fit, before you sign, you should meet with at least two potential agents before starting.
Here’s how to decide who’s right for you.
1. Ask open-ended questions. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to get to know your agent. People love to talk about themselves and this will open the floor. What you want to find out is:
• How long have they been selling?
• How do they talk about past clients?
• Are they both professional and likeable?
• Do you trust them?
2. Get an idea of their selling skills. You will also want to get an idea of their selling skills. How many homes have they listed and sold in the last six months to a year? Good agents know their numbers. This question will also allow you to see where their strengths are, whether in buying or listing. There really are no wrong answer; it’s just important to know that they are active and have their finger on the pulse in the local market. It’s also a good idea to ask to see samples of their marketing pieces as it will give you an idea of what you can expect.
3. Location, location, location. Location is key – what areas do they work and live in?
4. Working hard or hardly working? Does your agent practice full-time or is it something they do on the side? Are showings based on your schedule or theirs? In a hot market can they drop everything and show you that potential dream home?
5. Competition. Ask who they think their biggest competition is, and what sets them apart. Their answer to this question will tell you a lot!
6. What’s the plan? Whether buying or selling, your soon-to-be agent should have a plan. If you’re selling, what does the timeline look like, when can you expect open houses, when will it be live on mls? For a buyers agent you will need to know, when are we looking at homes and how active are they at finding new listings etc? You want to make sure you are on same page from day one!
7. Money Matters! Selling? Ask your agent how much the fees are, and are they negotiable? Who pays for what? If you’re buying – How does your agent respond to your budget requirements? A good agent will understand your needs and provide you with sound advice. Whether buying or selling, beware of the agents who look like they are in the business to make a fast buck. Great agents want to help and advise you.
8. Does your agent work on a team? Some agents have partners and teams with members who specialize in listing or selling. The agent listing your home might only list and has an associate who you will work with you on the buy. Most scenarios work, but the key is to know who does what and that you are comfortable with it.
With buying and selling being so stressful, at the end of the day you really need to like and trust the person you are working with. Ask away and go with your gut, and you will find the right agent!