Buying a home can often be a confusing task, especially if this is your very first house hunting experience. Knowing what actions you must take at each step along the way comes with time, but a great realtor will help you navigate the process with ease. A trusted real estate broker can be a great support and guidance for you from start to finish. To choose a good realtor, try some of the tips below.
1) Ask plenty of questions.
Finding the right fit for your real estate needs is a two-way street. Your realtor wants to get to know you and what you are looking for in a home, and in turn, you should also strive to discover everything you can about how the agent works. Have a list of questions handy to help you select a compatible realtor. Ask how long they have been a realtor, and find out how many homes they typically sell annually. You'll also want to inquire about the number of clients the realtor is currently working with, because an agent who is juggling too many buyers at once may not have the adequate time to help you in your search.
Let the realtor know that you are looking for someone who can describe the step-by-step process without losing patience. If the agent is not willing to explain how the timeline works, then you may need to continue your search. Additionally, look for a realtor who gives you thorough answers that truly inform your decision.
2) Read reviews from previous clients.
Another valuable resource to learn more about a potential realtor is to check references from past clients. Online reviews can be found on real estate websites, search engines, and other rating platforms. Read over an agent's profile to check their stats regarding years of experience, specialization areas, and the average range of the home prices they've sold over time. Be sure to find a realtor with a substantial number of recent reviews—the ratings don't all need to be stellar or five stars, but it's difficult to make an evaluation without an adequate amount of information to consider. Once you find a realtor that appeals to you, it's perfectly acceptable to ask the agent directly to provide you with additional references from clients.
3) Find a realtor who is very familiar with the area.
You will want an agent who is well-informed about real estate in general, but you will need to find someone who is also knowledgeable about the specific geographic area. A local expert has data about the market in your city and will be able to give you comparative numbers about important factors like listing prices versus actual closing prices. A local realtor will also have details about neighborhoods, communities, school systems, and other features that someone outside of the area may not have readily available. Another benefit of hiring a realtor with regional experience is a built-in network. The broker can give you recommendations of local businesses that can assist you during your move.
Ultimately, choose a realtor who advocates for you and makes you feel comfortable as you work through the process of buying your first home.