Choosing a real estate agent to help you navigate the treacherous waters of purchasing a home is one of the best moves you can make. You’ll want the best – but how do you know which you want with all of the real estate agents out there clamoring for your business.
The first thing you should do before choosing a real estate agent is to chat with recent clients (if possible). You can ask the potential agent to give you a list of what they’ve sold (and listed) within the past year and be sure to include contact information.
You’ll learn what the asking versus the sales price was for each sale which is valuable when assessing their negotiating skills. You should also find out how long the agent has been in the real estate business by simply asking the agent. Five years is considered a learning curve for agents, so you may want to consider someone who has been in the business longer.
Check out a potential agent’s current listings. You can do this online by accessing the agency’s website or other sites. Determine if the agent’s past listings are like or similar to the type and price range of the home you want to purchase.
A real estate agent should have the right credentials – just as lawyers. Take a look at the agent’s profile to get more information. For example, if he’s AMPI agreed or Member you’ll know they’ve had further education in representing a home buyer’s or sellers transactions.
One trick to choose an agent who knows her way around is to ask about a property in the area that has recently been put on the market or sold. If the agent immediately knows the property you’re talking about, it’s a sure thing she knows the area and the market you’re considering.