There is no shortage of individuals with real estate licenses. So if you’re about to begin the process of selling or purchasing real estate, the question becomes how do you select the right real estate agent to handle your business? Nancy Harris, a realtor and broker associate at Keller Williams Pacific Playa, shares her insights on finding the right real estate agent to meet your unique needs.
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Real estate selling and buying is a very personal process and it’s imperative for you and your agent to work well together. It’s a relationship that could last years. Here are a few tips that will increase your chances of finding the "perfect" agent for you.
- Get Referrals. Friends and family who recently bought a home can be a good way to find your own agent. Make sure that the agent is familiar with your favorite areas and can handle any special requirements you may have, such as a willingness to tackle short sales or bank-owned homes.
- Interview Your Referrals. Once you obtain referrals, the next step is to interview the agents. It may sound time consuming, but it's well worth the effort. This is the opportunity to find out about their experience and to express your needs and preferences. Your goal is to determine if this is someone you can work closely with and who will represent you professionally.
- Make Sure Your Agent Is Online. Having a web savvy agent is very important today, as a high percentage of all buyers initially see their homes online. Great agents have laptops and often have moved to mobile technology to assist. A real estate agent in today's world must email, text, and be available to buyers and sellers alike. Many agents and brokerages have their own websites. In addition, review sites such as Yelp can show you what other customers have to say about agents in your area.
- Ask For References. An agent should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied customers.
- Communication Is Key. Communication is key in a real estate relationship. How will the Agent keep you informed about the progress of your transaction? It’s important to know early on how the agent will keep you informed. How frequently? Using what media? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but one that reflects your desires.
- Work With a Local Market Expert. There are real estate agents that specialize in working within a specific community. Even if you have a real estate agent that you like, you might be best served by a real estate agent who knows the area well and can advise you about any adverse local market conditions that an outsider might not be aware of.