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Before you buy or sell a house, you need to find the right real estate agent. But how? Picking a random ad in the yellow pages or calling your cousin who just bought a house could possibly connect you to your dream agent… but probably not. There’s a better way to find the real estate agent of your dreams. Here’s how.
Step 1: Assemble a List of Candidates
Finding the perfect agent requires a little bit of digging. Ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors if they have an agent they like working with. Then check with your social networks. If there’s a large real estate agency that specializes in your neighborhood, you might even call them and ask for a recommendation. You want to find as many solid leads as you can.
Bonus Tip: Check the newspaper. No kidding — the real estate section is one of the best places to find a solid real estate agency. Who’s being quoted as an expert in your area? Call that agency and ask for an agent recommendation.
Step 2: Narrow Your List to the Top Three Agents
Once you’ve built a list of candidates, it’s time to whittle it down to the best of the best. Take a hard look at each agent’s specialties. You want someone who’s an expert in your neighborhood and your price range. Also, it helps if an agent offers other services, like arranging a house inspection or referring you to lenders and real estate attorneys.
You might also consider signing with a Realtor. Real estate agents who belong to the National Association of Realtors must abide by a strict code of ethics. And only Realtors have access to Multiple Listing Services (MLS).
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to just a few possible agents (say, three), it’s time to start talking face-to-face.
Step 3: Sit Down and Talk
Interviewing a real estate agent isn’t all that different from conducting a job interview. After all, you’re hiring this person to perform a crucial job for you. So the best thing you can do is slow down and take your time. Get to know each agent before you choose one. Here are some questions to ask:
• Are you a full-time agent, or part-time?
• How long have you been an agent?
• How many homes have you listed this year? How many have you sold?
• Can you give me a few references?
• If we decide to work together, how often can I expect to hear from you?
Remember, real estate transactions can be stressful, so you want to sign on with someone who puts you at ease. An agent who is both professional and trustworthy. Someone you feel comfortable asking a lot of questions. But no matter how thoroughly you research these agents, your decision has to be ultimately based on personal preference. So take your time, follow these three easy steps and find the right real estate for you!
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