A real estate agent is a key partner on your home buying journey. In addition to finding you potential homes, they also guide you and advocate for you throughout the process. But how do you decide which one is the right fit for you and your needs?
The right real estate agent for you should be familiar with your prospective neighborhood, experienced, and is someone you’ll enjoy working with.
Start the Search
There are a few ways to seek out an agent:
- Ask friends, family, and colleagues who have bought homes in your area for recommendations. Chat with them about their home buying experience and what they liked about their agent. Be sure to ask about any issues they may have encountered and how their agent helped them navigate the process.
- Search online for your area’s Association of Realtors®. A Realtor® is real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), a professional organization that provides agents with tools and resources to grow their businesses. To qualify for membership, the agent must have a valid, active real estate license, actively works in the real estate business, does not have a record of official sanctions for unprofessional conduct, and does not have a recent or pending bankruptcy.
- Search online for real estate agents in your area.
Check out reviews for your candidates, and check to see if they are licensed. Real estate agents must hold valid, current licenses in order to legally advise and represent you on a deal.
Interview Your Selections
After your find a prospective real estate agent, it’s important to interview them to make sure they are a good fit for your needs. Here are some common questions to help guide your conversation:
- How long have you been in real estate?
- Do you mostly work with buyers, sellers, or both?
- How many houses have you found for buyers? How many houses have you sold for sellers?
- What services will you provide?
- What is your schedule and availability like?
- How do you handle communication with me throughout the process?
- How will you be paid?
- How many clients are you currently working with?
- How will conflicts of interest be handled?
- What challenges will I face as a buyer in today’s market?
- How will you help me make competitive offers and negotiate with sellers?
- What can you tell me about my prospective neighborhood (pros and cons, what you can expect for your money, etc.)?
- How will you determine what homes may match my wants and needs?
- Can you provide references?