Real estate transactions are complicated, so it's important to find an agent you feel comfortable with and can trust with one of the most important purchases of your life! Here are 3 factors to consider when choosing an agent:
1. Are they trustworthy? If you go into the relationship questioning the integrity of your agent, you'll be setting yourself up for lots of drama and regret. If your agent is a personal friend or has worked with close friends or family, trust may not be an issue for you. But if you are looking for an agent, there are a few checks you should conduct:
- Check their license.You can go to your state's licensing department and check to be sure the agent is licensed and free of any history of troublesome discipline by the state agency.
- Check their reputation. Look at agent reviews on real estate sites like Zillow and Trulia and check Yelp! reviews. Peruse the agent's website and social media accounts to get a sense of how their former clients rate them.
- Check their references. Most agents will hand you a list of past client references or list them on their website. Keep in mind that it's unlikely they will give you a reference that says something negative, but this will give you an idea of what clients liked about the agent.
2. Are they equipped? Does your agent possess the technical skills and relationships to help you find and purchase your dream home? If your agent has been in the business for a while, ask them to share some of their recent transactions with buyers in similar situations to yours. If your agent is somewhat new to the business, ask about their education, training and prior work experience. Whatever the case may be, ask your agent about the providers they use to help them get transactions closed.
- Knowledge of your target neighborhood(s)
- Experience with the types of properties you're targeting - condos, lakefront, etc.
- Success in similar situations to yours
- Similar communication style and response time
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