How do you choose your real estate agent? After all there are tens of thousands of them out there. Some do it full time, others do it as a side hustle for extra cash.
Here are a few things to think about as you navigate these waters.
Use All Resources Available
At a high level, you have three places to go to help you find local agents:
- Friend and family referrals
- Search engines (i.e. Google or Bing)
- Review sites (such as Angie’s list)
Here is a bit more information about each method.
Friends and family – This is the best place to start. These people know you and can recommend someone they think would work well for you. Note this doesn’t have to just be limited to your best friends. Ask around on your Facebook page or Nextdoor page as well.
Search engines – the best way to use search engines is a two-pronged approach. First, use it to check out the reviews of the agents your friends and family recommend. Second, use it to help find other highly-rated agents to interview.
Review sites – sometimes sites like Angie’s list are great for helping you sift through all of the options. Strangely enough, there usually aren’t as many reviews for real estate agents as there are for other types of businesses like HVAC or plumbing businesses. This is more of a last resort.
Real Estate Agent Interview Questions
Once you’ve nailed your list down to three or four agents to interview, it’s time to meet with them. Ideally you’ll meet face-to-face, but in today’s environment it may be better to do a phone call or video call on a service like Zoom.
When you interview them, have a list of questions written down you want to ask. If you don’t write them down, you might forget some.
Here are a few we recommend:
- Do you usually work with buyers or sellers?
- How many clients do you usually have at one time?
- How will you help me sell my home?
- Can you give me the contact information of a few references?
- How long have you been an agent in this area?
- Do you have a team that works with you?
- How long have you been a real estate agent?
Feel free to come up with your own questions as well. Whatever will help you know the agent better!
Qualities to Look for in a Real Estate Agent
As you ask your questions, you’re ultimately trying to better understand these areas.
Experience – How experienced is the agent? Even though experience isn’t everything, it certainly helps.
Personality – Do you connect with the agent’s personality? Some are very bubbly, extroverted and energetic. Others are a bit more calm and collected. Both types of agents can be great, so choose one you resonate with.
Negotiating skills – You want someone who goes to bat for you. They need to be able to negotiate to get you a better deal.
Quick closer – Whether you’re buying or selling, you want someone that can put deals together fast.
Creative – Buying and selling homes tends to have a lot of gray situations come up. It’s not always obvious what should be done to fix a particular problem. A creative agent can help with that.
What should you look for in a real estate agent? Someone who is good at what they do and has the proof to back it up! If you have any other questions about the home buying process, give us a call at 949-392-6400. We’d love to help.