When you're looking to buy a home for the first time, having an experienced real estate agent to represent you can make the entire process so much easier. From scheduling showings and negotiating with sellers to walking you through the closing process, a real estate agent is really a jack of all trades. Before you hire just anybody for the job, however, there are a few things you'll want to do (and some other things you'll want to avoid).
Do Check Out Their Online Presence
You can learn a lot about a potential real estate agent by simply checking out some of their website and social media pages. For example, some agents work specifically with sellers or buyers, whereas others may work with both. If you see listings for homes on an agent's website, they probably work with both buyers and sellers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's something to be aware of. You can also get a better feel for an agent's overall personality and even their communication style by checking out their Facebook and other social media pages.
Don't Focus Too Much on Commission
One of the best things about being a first-time buyer is that you often don't have to pay any commission. Usually, sellers pay your real estate agent's commission although, these fees are often rolled into the price of the home. This is something a lot of first-time buyers aren't aware of, and as a result, they end up worrying too much about finding an agent with a cheap commission rather than finding their best match.
Do Ask About Their Local Market Knowledge
When you're looking to buy in a specific geographical area, it's important to find an agent who is experienced and knowledgeable about that local market. Don't assume that an agent is familiar with the market just because he or she is based in the area; ask specific questions about local real estate market trends and average home values to get a better feel for their expertise.
Don't Overlook Online Reviews
It never hurts to check out third-party reviews of a real estate agent before you make a final decision. As you read through reviews, look specifically for comments about communication, negotiation skills, and closing timelines. This can give you a better feel for what other buyers' experiences have been with this agent.
Choosing the right real estate agent for your first buying experience is undoubtedly important, so be sure to keep these things in mind as you begin your search. To learn more, contact the best realtor in your area for you.