A real estate agent is someone you will be in frequent contact with throughout the buying or selling process, so you want to carefully choose someone who you feel comfortable working with and are confident will serve your best interests. There are many specific factors to consider when determining whether someone is the right agent for you, and this should be done on a case by case basis depending on what your unique needs are.
- Is this commercial real estate transaction or residential real estate transaction?
- Are you buying a property or selling a property?
- What neighborhood or area is the property you want to sell/buy located in?
- What price range does the property you want to sell/buy fall into?
- Are you looking for a starter home or a place to spend your retired years?
You want a real estate agent who has the proper qualifications and experience to be able to assist you. An agent may have a great track record of selling residential properties but limited experience with commercial real estate. Likewise, an agent may be more knowledgeable about certain neighborhoods than others. The right agent for you is one with a body of experience that matches your circumstances.
How do you find such an agent?
- Ask for recommendation from friends and families who have recently bought or sold a property similar to the one that you are selling or looking to buy.
- Ask for a recommendation from other professionals involved with the real estate industry such as mortgage brokers.
- Look online, but remember to do thorough research and check the profile and credentials of any real estate agent you are considering.
- Attend open houses to meet real estate agents in their working environment, This will allow you to get an idea of their professionalism and abilities.
Once you have collected a few business cards or phone numbers, it is time to dig deeper. Don’t hesitate to ask a real estate agent about:
- Their level of experience with real estate transactions similar to yours
- How many years of experience they have
- Whether they are a Realtor®
- How familiar they are with the neighborhood you are looking at
- Do they have any specializations or designations?
These are all important for you to know. You may also request references or a list of properties they’ve sold recently. You can verify that they are licensed by contacting the real estate board for your state. They will also be able to inform you if the agent has had any disciplinary actions or complaints brought against them.
Do not feel obligated to sign an agreement with the first real estate agent that you talk to. If you don’t feel as though they are right for you, move on and keep searching. A real estate transaction is a major exchange of assets, and you want someone who you can trust to represent your best interests in the matter for a smooth and satisfactory experience.