Although there is no shortage of real estate companies and realtors, it can be difficult to find a reliable person. How do you know who is reputable?
If you’re wondering how to hire a real estate agent, keep reading for a guide that’ll tell you what to look for.
Do Your Research
Before you make any important or big decision, what should you do? Research. Buying or selling a home is a huge step, so make sure that you’ve fully vetted the person you’re considering hiring to help you.
One way that can help you find a realtor is by conducting your own “market research”. Take a drive around the neighborhood, and look for realtor signs in people’s yards. Bonus points if the sign has another sign next to it that says “sold”.
Visiting open houses can also give you the chance to meet and interact with potential realtors. This can also be a good environment to observe how they interact with clients. Do they seem cool and confident, or nervous and cold? Pay attention to their personality, as that can make or break a sale.
Check Ratings and Reviews
Aside from looking around town for signs and realtors, you can also turn to the internet. If you’ve identified some agents, search their names and see what comes up.
If they’re reputable and have worked in the industry for enough time, they should have reviews from past clients. Take the time to read through every one of these, as you want to get a good idea of who you’re going to be working with.
If you find a negative review, that shouldn’t raise a red flag, but don’t discount anything said either. Look for what they say in response to criticism. Are they warm and receptive, or harsh and abrasive? Try to get an idea of what kind of person the realtor is like, in addition to how successful they are.
You can also investigate their social media presence. Look on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on their own website.
Don’t Settle for the First Agent You Meet
Once you start to narrow in on an agent, continue checking them out. If a friend or family member can give you a referral, you can trust their experience more than what someone writes online.
Even if a candidate looks great, it’s essential that you keep your options open and don’t immediately decide on that realtor. Most people work with the first realtor they come across, but when you meet with multiple agents, you’ll have the chance to work with the one who is the best fit.
Remember that meeting with them is a job interview. They’re providing you with a service that you’re paying for. If they impress you, they can move to the next round. If they don’t you’ll find someone else.
When hiring a real estate agent, make sure you’re asking the right questions. Ask them how long they’ve been in the industry for, how many clients they have, and how they’ll go about marketing your home.
Make Sure Your Expectations Are Clear
When entering into a realtor-client relationship, there should be no areas for confusion. Both parties should understand what they need to do, and how they’re going to do it.
Avoid the possibility of communication errors by deciding on what your preferred mode of communication is. If you’re a fan of phone calls but the agent prefers to send bi-weekly emails, consider looking for someone who can fulfill your desires. If you have questions and need speedy responses, make sure they’re accommodating.
You also need to make sure you’ve made your motivations for buying or selling clear. Are you working with a deadline that you need to have everything done by? Do you need a specific amount? Make these points clear at the start.
Check (And Double Check) the Contract
Once you think that you’ve decided on an agent, it’s time to hammer out the details. Again, there should be no room for miscommunication or what the realtor needs to do.
The contract should be a review of what the two of you have agreed to. It should spell out various details, such as the real estate commission. This should be 6%, with half going to the realtor, and the other half going to their agency. Keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate this down.
You should also pay attention to the contract duration. In certain markets, the realtor can sell you home in 30 days or less. It should, therefore, be 6 months or less. If it’s longer, or the realtor is unable to sell you home after a few months, consider looking for a new agent.
If you’re in Arizona and are looking for a realtor, check out Effective Agents, who can help match you with the top realtors in Phoenix.
How to Hire a Real Estate Agent? Trust Your Gut
Choosing a real estate agent can be difficult, but by working with someone you feel comfortable with, you’ll be able to navigate through bumpy times. When wondering how to hire a real estate agent, remember that if something feels wrong or off, don’t settle. There are plenty of other agents to choose from!
Do you have any other suggestions on hiring a real estate agent? Let us know!
If you enjoyed reading this blog post, check out some of our other articles for more guides and tips.