Home buyers who have bad experiences are often those who called an agent advertised on a neighborhood lawn sign or in a magazine ad. Without much thought to expertise, they then quickly entered into a contract. I’m not saying those agents can’t do a good job, I’m saying that to choose the right agent for yourself and for higher odds of a good experience, you need to dig deeper, beyond the real estate license and visual advertisements. (Believe me, I learned it the hard way years ago)
There are more important factors in choosing a REAL real estate professional such as: personality, experience, reputation and local expertise. Here’s how to choose the right buyer’s agent or broker for yourself.
First, you should contact at least 3 real estate agents or brokers for interviews in the city where you want to buy a house. If you are not happy with the first 3 agents you interviewed, contact 3 more. Here are a few suggestions to find good agents for interviews:
- Search the website directory of the local Chamber of Commerce for real estate agents. Visit each real estate agent’s website to find agents with at least 3 years of experience and a good number of great testimonials. Ask each agent for 3 references from recent customers (served in the last 24 months), then follow up to verify. If an agent (either full-time or part-time) can’t produce 3 good references in the last 24 months of practice, it’s not a good sign. Move on to the next agent until you line up 3 solid agents for interviews.
- Do a Google search for real estate agents in your area. Read their Google reviews (if available) and visit each agent’s website. Then follow the steps I suggested above to line up interviews.
- Ask your relatives, friends or neighbors for referrals to a local real estate agent they respect. Make sure they have had a great first hand experience with the agent. Remember, don’t let your relatives or friends foist someone on you or try to guilt you into using an agent. Since buying a house is one of the biggest transactions in your life, you don’t want to take this lightly.