When looking for a Real Estate agent your best resource will be friends or family that have recently been through the process of looking for a new home. This will typically give you good starting direction. However, if you’re new to the area, there are other ways to research, such as finding an agent/agency that has dealt with homes in the area that you’re looking in. This will be beneficial as far as finding homes that fit your needs as well as additional information on the area .
Interview The Agent
Once you know the area that you’re looking to move into, you’ll want to interview with the agents that are available. Consumers should start by making an appointment with the agency, or the specific agent that you have chosen.
There are several questions that you’ll want to ask:
How long have they been involved in Real Estate?
For consumers looking into the purchase of a home they will want to have an experienced real estate agent. Someone that has been in the industry for at least 3-5 years or more could be considered experienced. Someone that has been successful enough in real estate to continue to work in that field for a multiple of years, is someone that is able to get the job done.
An inexperienced real estate agent- and everyone starts somewhere- would be fine for basic real estate transactions such as if you were looking to purchase a condo for example. The process is preset and a lesser-experienced agent would be able to assist you. On the larger scale, a consumer should stick to someone with a greater experience in buying, selling and/or appraisal.
Is the agent part-time or full-time?
Part time means just that, the agent is only working in real estate part of the time. This is typically is not advantageous for consumers, most real estate deals require someone who can commit themselves 100%. A part time real estate agent has other things that will occupy part of their time, which can cut into the time that the agent should be working for you.
How accessible is the agent?
When choosing an agent, a consumer should make sure that the agent can be reached when needed. A good agent would maintain at least working hours, with the ability to be reached outside of those hours in an emergency. The more flexible the agent is with their hours, the more you know that they want to work for you.
Once you feel convinced the agent can do a good job representing you, you need to decide what kind of relationship you will have. It used to be that agents always represented the seller of the home. However, things have changed and now you can choose what kind of relationship you will have with your real estate agent. There are few different options to choose from:
Buyers Agent: The most obvious choice if you are looking to purchase a property. A Buyers Agent works exclusively for you, the buyer, and places your best interests above all others.
Sellers Agent: The obvious choice if you are the seller of the property. The Sellers Agent will look out for the best interests of the seller.
Dual Agent: In this type of agreement, the agent works for both the buyer and the seller. This often happens when a buyer selects an agent and then considers purchasing a home the agents firm has listed for sale. The problem here is obvious. The agent is servicing two individuals and cannot put the interest of one above the other. As a home buyer, you’re better off working with an agent that is bound to look out for only your interests.