Buying the house of your dreams is not all about just finding a home that is perfect for you and your lifestyle. It is also about teaming up with a real estate agent that understands your needs and helps you through the house-hunting process with their expertise in the housing market.
However, it can be a struggle for repeat home buyers and first-time homebuyers alike to find an agent most suitable for them. Getting an experienced professional is a given, but with so many brokers and agents, knowing the right choice is not always a quick answer. We are here to help you make the right decision on which real estate agent to partner with.
Preliminary Practices Before Agent Hunting
Do not immediately dive into the agent hunt. You must first do your own studying to simplify the process and help you narrow down your tasks.
Know what you can afford
One mistake that many homebuyers make is not establishing their budget before looking for homes. This only leads to heartbreak, as you inevitably find great homes beyond your buying range.
A wise first move is to speak with various lenders first to determine the mortgage rate you can afford. Understand the different loans, such as FHA loan programs for low-income buyers and VA loans for veterans. This allows you to set a maximum price in your budget that will guide the price ranges of the homes your real estate agent can refer to you.
Speak with people you know
The best place to go before looking for agents on your own is to speak with trusted friends and family who have had positive experiences with their real estate agents. Talk to them about how they found their way to their agents and why they chose the agents they partnered with before they bought their homes.
Ultimately, what you want to get from these conversations is knowing where to look for an agent who knows how to approach cases like yours. You will have different priorities when looking for a second property than when you seek to buy your first home, so an agent who has experience with people in your position is best.
Familiarize yourself with real estate lingo
It also helps you to know real estate terms to avoid getting lost in conversations with potential agents and sellers.
Know that real estate agents assist people both in buying and selling properties. Depending on the situation, they either represent the buyer as a buyer’s agent, the seller as a listing agent, or sometimes both as a dual agent. Having a dual agent can be harder, as it often limits the information you receive to help you in negotiation.
You should also know that not all real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors are certified members of the National Association of Realtors, meaning that they have a formal obligation to abide by the rules and code of conduct of the organization. It is best to find a Realtor as many times; they have certifications that add to their expertise in the market.
Finding the Right Real Estate Agent
Looking for the right real estate agent can be a tedious undertaking, but remember that it helps you have a pleasant home buying experience later on.
Interview different agents before selecting one
Speak to three or more real estate agents to understand how they work and who they usually work with. When you talk to various agents, you get to see the differences in their professionalism and effort into the role.
Talking to agents one-on-one also tells you if their communication style is to your preference and if your schedules match each other’s. This matters because it eliminates a lot of stress on your end during the buying process.
Take time to look into their background, too, for safety purposes. Review references and speak with former clients to verify how they handled those cases. Referrals come in handy during this period because you already have people you know who vouch for the services beforehand.
Take time to find someone you trust
Again, finding the right real estate agent is hardly a quick process. You need to be attentive, not just to what your real estate agent is presenting, but also to how they act towards you. You want an agent who does not leave you doubting your choices but helps you clarify them to make the smartest decision for your situation.
Respect and honesty are two important traits for a real estate agent, so do not hesitate to take time to look for one that has both in addition to skills.