How to Find a Real Estate Agent

How to Find a Real Estate Agent

  • Susan Wisely
  • 04/5/23

Working with a real estate agent is one of the most important parts of any home sale or purchase. Your realtor will educate you on the process of buying or selling a home. They will represent you in interactions with the seller’s agent, and they will help you handle counteroffers and negotiations. Choosing the right realtor to work with is a key step toward getting the best possible price on your dream home. Learn how to find a real estate agent by reading the thorough guide below.

The basics

Before you learn about specific qualities to search for in a realtor, it’s important to have a good understanding of who a real estate agent is and how their role differs from individuals in similar professions. Below you’ll learn about the distinctions between real estate agents and other professionals.

Real estate agent vs. broker

The main difference between a real estate agent and a broker has to do with their licensing. A real estate agent can help individuals buy and sell homes. They will receive a commission on the deal once it is finished. Brokers perform a similar task, but they also have the credentials necessary to work independently and hire other agents to work with them. Brokers also tend to have more extensive industry experience. This isn’t true in every situation, but you’ll find it to sometimes be the case.

Realtor vs. real estate agent

A realtor is someone who is a member of the National Association of Realtors. This person has agreed to work under a larger governing body with a specific code of ethics and various standards for professional conduct. Looking for a real estate agent who is an active member of the NAR is a great way to ensure you’re partnering with someone who will act with character and integrity throughout the transaction.

Buyer’s agent vs. listing agents

The buyer’s agent is the person who represents the person purchasing the property. The listing agent is working with the seller to bring the property to market. They help coordinate in-person showings and respond to questions from buyers’ agents throughout the process.

How to find the best real estate agent

What is their experience?

Typically you want to partner with an agent with several years of full-time real estate experience. These individuals will have developed key skills and areas of expertise over time. In many situations, they will know how to respond to various challenges and setbacks before they even occur. If you want to get a better idea of how active a particular agent is with their real estate practice, do some research to determine how many sales they have closed in the past year. Usually, a full-time agent is someone who has completed at least ten sales over the last twelve months. If you find that an agent hasn’t been involved in this many deals, perhaps they have encountered a slow season, or maybe real estate is only a side hustle for them.

Do they have assistants who will help me?

Only 15% of real estate agents have a personal assistant
who works with them. These agents are often the top performers in their area or market. One advantage that sets them apart from the competition is the ability to quickly and consistently handle questions and queries from their clients thanks to the help of their assistant. However, it’s also understandable if you want to be working closely with your agent and only your agent. This is something worth inquiring about and then deciding for yourself which you prefer.

How much commission do they expect?

Most realtors will expect a commission of 5-6%
of the total cost of the home after completing the deal. The exact amount varies based on the realtor’s experience and their personal preferences. Sometimes a realtor will take less if they are representing both the buyer and seller for the same property. It’s a good idea to ask your realtor about what type of commission they expect before the two of you officially begin working together. Keep in mind that, in most cases, both the buying and the listing agent will receive a commission once the deal is finalized.

Do they have positive reviews from past clients?

Reading online reviews is one way to learn about what sort of experiences past clients have had with a particular real estate agent. Many agents will post positive reviews and testimonials on their website. You shouldn’t expect to find any negative or neutral reviews here. If they exist, they will probably be on a third-party website or a search engine such as Google. Negative reviews aren’t necessarily a bad thing as long as they don’t outweigh the positive ones. Even the best realtors will have a negative review or two from their time in the industry. The only time when you need to be concerned is if you notice that a real estate agent has more negative reviews than positive testimonials. It’s also not a great sign if all of the negative reviews follow a similar pattern or reflect the same issue.

Things to look for in a buyer’s agent

As a buyer, your agent will help you search for homes inside your price range. They will also negotiate with the seller’s agent when trading offers back and forth to ensure you get the best deal. This may mean a lower price, or perhaps the agent can negotiate a deal where the seller pays your closing cost. They will also help you develop realistic expectations about what type of home you can afford based on current market conditions and the amount your lender pre-approved you to borrow.

Things to look for in a seller’s agent

If you’re selling your home, your agent will help you choose the best possible price to include with your listing. They will use information from your Comparative Market Analysis to ensure you are pricing your home at a competitive number where it will appraise. They will also assist you with marketing, staging, and selling your home.

Working with a qualified and trusted realtor is one of the most crucial steps during any real estate transaction. As you think about which realtor is best for you to work with, consider the Choose Wisely Group. Their trusted group of agents continually provides value for each client they work with. Reach out to their office when you’re looking for someone to help you buy or sell your home.

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