How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
You've picked a location. You've nailed down a budget. Your Pinterest boards are filled with photos of kitchen décor inspiration and landscape designs. It's safe to say you're ready to buy a home.
But before you find your dream home, you need to find the perfect real estate agent to help make the magic happen.
Thanks to the internet and services like ZipRealty.com, it's easier than ever to connect with real estate agents all over the nation. But with all those options, it can be tough narrowing down your choices and finding that special agent who best fits your needs.
It's easy to get overwhelmed, but don't be tempted to just default to the agent with the most Facebook followers or the flashiest business cards. There's much more to consider before making a decision - and we've got some tips to help you out.
Find your niche
Do you want to live in a luxury condo in the city, or are you looking to settle down in a quieter, more suburban area? Are you on the hunt for a fixer-upper, or would you prefer a home that was recently remodeled? What is your budget? Whatever specifics you're looking for, there's a real estate agent out there that can cater to your unique needs.
Ratings and reviews written by prior and current clients are a great way to get even more insight into agents' skills, strengths, and experience. Search agents online and check out their Facebook, Yelp, and LinkedIn pages to get a better sense of what they can bring to the table.
Word of mouth is still a reliable way to get insider information on real estate agents. Reach out to your friends, family members, coworkers, favorite baristas, etc. about their home buying experiences. If they have nothing but good things to say about the agent they used, it might be in your best interest to give that agent a call.
Do Your Research
Once you've gathered up a list of real estate agents in your area, it's time to begin the interview process. You can also learn a lot about an agent's local knowledge, individual experience, and professional expertise by viewing their detailed online profiles. Here are a few questions to start off asking:
- How long have you been an agent?
- Do you work full-time or part-time?
- How do you prefer to communicate with clients?
- How many clients are you currently working with?
Remember, experience is important, but it's not everything. Agents just starting out may have a fresher approach to real estate and an eagerness to please over more "experienced" agents. Also, newer agents tend to have a smaller client base, so they can focus more of their attention on you.
Listen to Your Gut
Sometimes selecting a real estate agent comes down to simple chemistry. You're looking for someone who you can trust – someone who makes you feel comfortable and is easy to communicate with. After all, you'll be spending a lot of time working together over the next few months. If you immediately feel at home with your real estate agent, chances are it's a good fit.
ZipRealty.com makes it easy for you to evaluate and connect with tons of local real estate agents online. Our agents are plugged into your home search experience as soon as you create a customized search, which means you'll get paired with a professional who understands exactly what you're looking for.
Buying a home is an exciting process - but we know it can feel a little intimidating, too. That's why it's so important to have the right agent on your side to guide you every step of the way. The goal is to work with someone who is knowledgeable, friendly, and hardworking, and who values your time as much as you do. That means you need an agent who returns your calls quickly, answers your questions candidly and accurately, and is ready to move forward when you are.
Ready to find your agent? Let the search begin!