When looking for a house, it might be tempting to get the services of any available real estate agent. This is because these agents are all over us. They put up placards, ads in the magazine and every other place you can ever visit. Getting the right agent is thus a difficult task. But with our top tips on how to get a real estate agent, you can confidently sign a deal with an agent, knowing that you have selected the best.
Ask for referrals
The best way to get a qualified real estate agent is through referrals. This can be through friends and relatives, or any other person you know who just bought a home through an agent.
Referrals work best since the person referring you will share his or her experience with the agent you are referred to. This way, it will reduce your workload of having to carry out background checks on the agent before settling down to hire him.
Scout for experience
It is equally important to understand the number of years the agent has been in the real estate field. You can find out this either by directly asking them or by asking the state licensing authority.
According to Robert Irwin, the author of “Tips and Traps for Negotiating Real Estate,” if an agent has not been in the field for five or more years, then he is learning with you, which is not a very good thing. You need someone who has been in the field, who has specialized in a certain area of the real estate and whose price range can be predicted.
The agent’s current listings
Sites such as realtor.com and the agency’s own website can be a very good place to know the agent’s current listings. A good agent will have an attractive online appeal, and thus you can easily be able to know if you are hiring the right person by how they present themselves online.
The listings should have something to reflect what you want to buy or sell. Look at the price range of the properties listed, their location and the number of listings. The number of listings is important as they indicate if this person is trusted by many clients, a reason to give you trust in him.
Gauge is knowledge
To identify an agent who loves his work, you can easily ask him about a house that was recently sold or bought in your neighborhood and see if he knows it. The target here is, to know whether this person is knowledgeable enough about the businesses that happen within his area of business.
The ability of the agent to know about the properties that have been sold or bought in recent times is an indication that he/she understands the area well. This is a plus as it will imply that he will give you a property that he knows much about. In case of an issue, you can always ask him about the house.