Real estate is big business. Every year there are more than 5 million real estate transactions. That means that on any given day there are more than 13,000 deals happening. That’s a lot of property moving between owners. The people who mediate these transactions are real estate agents. They are in the business of helping people buy and sell properties. And because they have a financial interest in the deals going on, it’s especially important to find someone who has your best interests in mind. This can reduce the potential for conflicts of interest that work against you.
Finding a real estate agent who will truly have your needs in mind is critical. When you need to sell your home or you’re ready to buy something, the financial implications are huge. Realtors make thousands of dollars each time they help someone buy or sell a property. You don’t want to overpay on real estate or miss out on bigger profits that can help you meet financial goals because your agent had other motivations in the process.
Don’t Hire the Sellers Agent When You’re Buying
No matter how much you like the person who is selling a home you want to buy, do not hire them as your buyer’s agent. The first person that the agent in this instance works for is the seller. Their goal is to help the seller get as much for their home as possible and to make decisions that benefit them. Regardless of their desire to remain a neutral party, it’s nearly impossible to do that.
In these real estate transactions, the buyer almost always pays more, and the process doesn’t go as smoothly as it would if you had a different agent. Use an agent finder to discover other realtors who work with homes in your desired area. They will be able to show you homes, negotiate contracts, and do everything in their power to answer your questions. These agents will work on your behalf to ensure you have all the information you need to make decisions about your real estate needs.
Get Honest Referrals
Real estate agent sites often include testimonies from happy customers. What they don’t always include are the negative reviews from people who didn’t enjoy working with them. While it’s important to ask your friends and family for referrals, you want to get a big picture as well. Ask them what they loved about their agent, but also if there is anything that they wish had been done differently.
Sometimes an agent is more hands-off and for some homebuyers, this can be a turn-off. Others are overly responsive, and this too can be unappealing to others who would prefer a more hands-off approach. Finding out what people like and dislike can help you determine if the qualities of the agent are something you think you would need.
If no one you know has worked with a real estate agent in your area, your next course of action could be to ask around in online forums. Be aware that you may get spammed by all the agents on that forum when you post, so be ready to sift through those responses.
Go to Open Houses
Visiting open houses can help you screen potential real estate agents. You’ll be able to see how they interact with other people, how responsive they are to your questions, and get a feel for how well you connect. These are some of the important parts of choosing an agent because you’ll be working closely with them until closing time. They may also have valuable information about other homes that are getting ready to come on the market and interesting facts about the neighborhoods you like the most. Additionally, when you’re getting ready to sell and they are in your neighborhood, finding an agent at an open house is the perfect way to get connected. Don’t forget the first tip we offered, however. You still don’t want to hire the seller’s agent if you are wanting to buy a particular house.
It’s entirely possible to hire a real estate agent who has your best interests in mind. The more they help their clients, the better the referrals they get later. They depend on their reputation in a city to build their business. When they help you, they also help themselves.