If you’re in search of a dream home, one element that can make or break your purchase is your real estate broker. There is a broad range of options to choose from in this industry, from local real estate firms to Virtual Real Estate Companies.
It would be best if you had an experienced professional who addresses your concerns and understands the market. The person you choose may not work with a large brokerage, but this expert can still find great deals and make the most closing deals.
To help you with the process, here’s what you can do to search for and find a real estate broker to work with.
Know the Difference Between a Realtor and an Agent
A realtor has a license to sell properties as an agent, but not all agents are realtors. Industry statistics indicate that less than half are realtors. Realtors are more specialized since they belong to the NAR or the National Association of Realtors. They are required to follow the organization’s Code of Ethics.
These are guiding principles that are higher than normal business practices. Only those who are certified realtors can use the Realtor Logo. It would be best to go with a realtor, but an agent will also work well with you.
Peruse Agent Listings Online
Numerous websites now refer real estate agents to you. However, this is not an assurance of quality. Sometimes, these agents have just paid for the site to be listed in the directory. For the best results, research the top performing real estate companies in your area. You can also consider Virtual Real Estate companies that have the proper certification.
For both local and online companies, check their official company websites and read up on the agent profiles, if there are any. Do your due diligence so you can read up about agent experience.
Do not discount newbies right away because they usually have more time and the gumption to help you. Be sure to check for online client reviews, testimonials, and comments.
Consider Attending Open Houses
It’s easy to meet real estate brokers in their working environment by attending an open house. During this time, you can even interact with them and ask questions. See how they reply and analyze their disposition. During your interaction, you can gauge if you feel comfortable with the demeanor and character of the person.
During these open houses, collect business cards and take down notes about all the agents you meet.
If you have to sell a home before you can buy a new one, pay attention to the agent’s selling skills. You want someone polite, honest, informative, communicative, and knowledgeable.
Pick someone that hands out sleek promotional materials, while pointing out home features when giving tours. Stay away from those who are sitting idly in the corner and ignoring you.
Keep an Eye on Neighborhood Signs
Keep a close watch on the “for sale” signs in your neighborhood and the surrounding areas. Take note of the day when these signs go up and when they disappear or are sold. An agent who has a quick turnaround for his listings is a great candidate. This is better than an agent who has a lot of for sale listings. You’re after results and not the number of listed properties.
Read Print Ads
Some real estate agents invest in print ads. They run advertisements when they want to sell a specific property, or they want to promote their services. Check your local community papers for these types of ads in your area or the area where you want to move to. Cross-check these with the websites so you can get to know the agent further.
Ask for Recommendations
It’s not uncommon for mortgage officers and bank loan staff to know real estate agents. These professionals have a working relationship with real estate agents, so they may have first-hand knowledge of exceptional brokers you can work with. Ask family and friends, too, for referrals. Those who have worked with an outstanding agent will gladly make recommendations.
After doing all these steps, narrow down your list to at least three possible agents that you want to work with for your house search. Ask them for their references, do an interview, and a background check. Finally, decide who you feel most comfortable with among them. Even if this is a working relationship, trust your gut and pick the person that feels right for you.