FINDING A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT
Picking an agent from the largest local brokerage, or one that has the most transactions and earns the most money does not guarantee that they will be the best agent for you. You need to find an agent who knows your market well, who is willing to put in the time to listen to you, and who will give their maximum effort to make your wishes come true.
In order to find an agent who will meet all of the above criteria you need to put a bit of effort into searching. You can start your search right out of the comfort of your own home. Take a look online, google the top real estate companies, and look up profiles of individual agent offices near you, go to the customer reviews and see what other customers have said. Do not choose the agents that are referred by other websites; these websites have been paid by the agents themselves in return for the recommendation. Expand your search by attending open houses.
Open houses are a great way to see firsthand how the agent conducts their business. In this non-threatening work environment you can examine the way the agent showcases the house, this way you will also pick up on their personality (are they polite, informative, and knowledgeable). You will see if the material they hand out is professional looking and if it meets or exceeds your standards. The other thing to keep a track of is print advertising and neighborhoods signs.
Agents put listings in newspaper ads to showcase the homes but also to promote themselves. Pick a few that catch your eye and further look them up online to get more information on them. This same strategy applies to neighborhood signs. Every neighborhood sign is additional advertising for the agent. However, you want to make sure that you keep track of the day they go up and the day they come down. Do not wait for ‘sold signs’ since not all agents will put up a sold sign. Also make sure that you go to those agents that sell listings the fastest rather than those that have a large number of ‘for sale’ signs. You should also ask around to see what other people have to say about the agent.
Are other agents referring the agent you are interested in; agents will be happy to refer clients to their colleagues if they do not specialize in the area the client is looking for. Furthermore, you should speak to mortgage brokers as they have first-hand knowledge of outstanding agents. Do not forget to ask your neighbors, coworkers, and family. Agents stay in the business because of satisfied clients. Therefore the agents you hear about from word of mouth must be good at what they do.
Do not settle for just any agent, do your research, if you follow the above guidelines you will find the agent that is just right for you.