Finding the right home is both exciting and challenging for any buyer. It can also be a tedious process, from house inspections and neighborhood checks to all the paperwork. This is why having the right Real Estate agent is key to finding the property that’s perfect for you. Here we will highlight what you need to look out for when hiring a real estate agent and the questions you need to ask before making the final decision.
Qualities To Look For
You don’t want to hire just anybody. You want to know what to look for. So, you want to get an agent that’s been in the business a while, someone who’s experienced, someone who’s hard-working, someone who’s knowledgeable, someone who’s going to look out for your best interest and most importantly, someone who’s going to educate you through the process. A lot of real estate agents tend to send buyers emails containing homes and then they say “When you see the home you like, just let me know…” There’s a lot more to being a real estate agent than just sending people listings of homes. It’s about educating people. So you need to find a real estate agent that’s going to educate you and walk you through the process.
Don’t Believe the Titles
The second thing is, don’t believe the titles that real estate agents use. A lot of them are just made up – ie. ‘Buyer’s Agent’. What’s the role of a Buyer’s Agent? They make such things up like: I’m a relocation specialist, or a new home specialist, or a military specialist or the like. Find out what they’ve been doing. Find out what they know. They claim they’re a relocation specialist. Find out how many people they have helped relocate and if they relocated themselves, to ensure they know what you and your family will be going through.
Research About Your Real Estate Agent
The third thing is you want to do a little research on the agent. You want to go to their website and to read their biography. Find out a little bit about them by going to their Facebook business page, review their business page, go to their YouTube channel, assuming they have a YouTube channel and research them, make sure they’re the right agent for you and get information on them before you hire them.
Look for Referrals from Trusted Sources
Especially if you know someone in the area you’re looking to buy, it is best to talk to them and ask for a referral. Getting to know previous successful property purchase stories from someone you trust makes you feel more comfortable with the agent that helped them. This will also help you break the ice with the real estate agent as you would have your referee as your common thread. Also, no one will ever recommend a real estate agent who’s bad at their job and so you would be assured of their competence.
Check for Value-Adds
Does the real estate agent offer cleaning services? Will they help you with legal fees or even with moving? Many real estate agents offer services that go beyond after the sale has been made. Choosing this type of agent does not only show you get the bang for your buck. Instead, this signifies that the agent understands the whole process of moving, the pressures and hassles of it all, to go as far as giving you additional services that will lift your worries and also ensure they cover things you might have forgotten – like getting boxes for your things!
The Pre-Interview Process
When I say pre-interview, what I mean is you want to pre-interview the agent. You don’t want to get five or ten agents in front of you or talk to five or ten agents on the phone. So, what you want to do is get about five to ten agents, send them all an email, and make sure they get the email. So, when you send it to them, make sure you set up a read receipt to confirm they did read it. You want to know you will have a great agent and that your email didn’t end up in their junk folder. So what you want to do is you want to ask them two questions. This is really important. You want to tell them a little bit about what you’re looking for, and if you’re a first time home buyer, you let them know that too. If you’re looking for new construction or you’re relocating, you let them know upfront and then you ask them these questions: ‘Why should I work with you?’ The second question is: ‘What do you do differently than all the other agents out there?’
Now, when you ask these questions, you may throw the agent off because they’re not going to be expecting this. You want to get their feedback. Now, after you send out five or ten, you may find that you only get one or two good responses back. If you don’t feel you’ve gotten enough responses back, then pick up the phone and talk to some other agents. The goal is to get an idea of how comfortable you are with them before committing to work with them on your home buying journey!