According to the National Association of Realtors, there are 2 million agents in the United States, but the best ones can often be hard to find. Whether you’re buying or selling a home, or whether it’s your first real estate transaction or your 10th, a good agent will optimize your experience and help you reach your goals. But finding a real estate agent is difficult if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
Instead of relying on your friends and family to refer you to the agent they used years ago, remember these tips when interviewing both listing agents and buyers agents and you’ll find the right one in no time.
Find out how experienced they are
Traditional agents often focus on how many years they’ve been in the business as a selling point. But if you’re considering using a tech-enabled brokerage, the agents often close far more homes than other agents. For instance, Door.com agents close an average of 10 homes in a month, while traditional agents close three to five in one year.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, focus on selecting an agent that has the transactional experience and avoid those who simply say they’ve worked as an agent for X amount of years without going into further detail.
Ask if they are part of a team
Life happens, even to real estate agents. If you work with a brokerage that has a team-based approach, you won’t have to worry about issues that may arise that would render your one point of contact unavailable for a period of time.
For example, a Door.com client recently shared how the team approach worked for him. His agent’s newborn was rushed to the hospital and the agent was unable to complete the final offer. The client was quickly connected with another agent, who reviewed the contract and made it the most attractive, which ultimately won the client the house.
Figure out if they can handle your specific needs
Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking for a home in a certain price range or a long-term investor aiming to make the most profit, you need someone who’s dealt with your kind of transaction before. The agent may say they’ve dealt with your kind of situation, but you should ask for examples to figure out how he or she would handle any unique issues that may arise.
Check current listings and past reviews
If you’re looking for a selling agent, check out how they market homes by looking at their current listings. Are the homes attractively presented? Are they on the top websites and on social media? The online presence of your home is the biggest driver to getting it sold, so agents who don’t take this seriously are a waste of your time.
If you’re choosing an agent to help you buy a home (and also if you’re selling) ask them for contact information for a few references, or go online and look at reviews posted about the agent or brokerage. Do they follow the code of ethics? Do they communicate effectively? Look for information that is specific to your priorities. After all, you want an agent who works for you and your goals, and past clients are a great way to determine how your experience will be.
Things to avoid when choosing a real estate agent
When interviewing agents, keep an eye out for the following red flags:
- They suggest the highest price for your home - Pricing a home too high for the market will dissuade buyers from looking at it because it will give off the impression that you’re unrealistic.
- They are a part-time agent - Your agent should actively working to find you homes or market your property every day.
- They are a relative - Just because you know them doesn’t mean they’re going to do the best job at selling your home or finding you listings. Choosing someone you’re close with may have a negative effect on both your real estate transaction and your relationship.
If you’re still deciding between several agents or brokerages after finding out all of the above, go with the one who asks you the right questions. If they’re interested in getting to know more about you and your goals, they’re most likely focused on customer service and will work to get you the best deal.
And when it comes to customer service, Door.com’s experience is truly unrivaled. Contact us today and find out for yourself.