One year ago we decided to get a house in a rural area in our county. We found some listings on a free ad website and called the owners.
Since the houses were very decrepit and the price was small, they didn’t hire a real estate agent, since the commission would have been way too small.
We were very pleased with the outcome, we dealt directly with the owners, visited the house when we were all available for this and both parties were happy at the end with the agreed price and outcome.
Unfortunately in most cases, when dealing with bigger properties, a real estate agent is a necessary evil.
Let’s see how we can turn this relationship into a great one.
How to find a GREAT real estate agent
Ask you friends and neighbors who they’ve worked with in the past
While not all friend recommendations might be 100% reliable, you can find a lot of great details about the real estate agents they have employed in the past.
Were they pleased with the agents’ performance? How did they work together? Anything you should avoid?
You can also pick few names and then see if they are suitable for the job.
Look at print ads
Real estate agents rely on print ads to promote the properties they are currently selling and also their own business.
This is a good way to single out few realtors you’d like to work with.
Attend open houses
There’s no better way to see an agent in action than at an open house. Do you like how the real estate agent presents the home? Does this person seem knowledgeable? Professional? Pleasant?
The way a real estate agent is presenting an existing client can give you a great insight on how your own listing will be managed. Or how your business relation will look like.
Look for their licensing
Check with your state’s regulatory body and see if your prospective agent has a license and if there have been any complaints or issues in the past.
You’ll want to deal with experienced real estate agents (ideally at least 5 years in the business) and people who have a spotless ‘record’.
Search for current listings
As soon as you got your eye on a real estate agent, checked his credentials and are ready to move forward, look at the current properties he’s listing.
Too few properties indicate an not so healthy business, while too many might mean said agent won’t be too careful representing you, since he’s way over his head.
Do the properties get listed properly? Are the images enticing? Are the details correct? For many properties that are in your area you can do a little checkup yourself and see how well the agent is representing his clients’ real estate. This is a clear indicator on how your own business will be handled.
Interview prospective real estate agents
You’ll need to know how long they’ve been in the business (ideally over 5 years, otherwise they’re learning on you), what other properties they have in the area etc.
Is there a good chemistry between the two of you? Selling or buying real estate is serious business, ideally you should work only with people you are comfortable with.
What real estate agents to avoid:
- real estate agents without too much experience – while new real estate agents go into business and do a great job from the start, most of the time you should look for agents who are already experienced
- real estate agents who don’t have properties in your area – it’s not just about the houses and prices. You’ll need someone who knows the neighborhood, all transportation options, good schools, parks and hospitals.
- part-time real estate agents – someone who is doing this full time is more invested in his business and will most likely do a way better job.
What else would you add? How do you find a great real estate agent?