One of the most important decisions facing a buyer in search of a new home is selecting the right real estate agent.
Throughout the home buying process, your agent is your “go-to” representative providing guidance and professional knowledge along the way. As a result, there are some important criteria to consider as you research who would be the best agent to represent you.
Lenders know Real Estate Agents
A good place to start is to obtain referrals from your lender. Keep in mind only your lender will ask questions and request documents relating to your credit score, salary, tax returns or other financial information.
Your personal network of friends, family coworkers and acquaintances also is a good source of referrals for real estate agents.
At the top of the list of what to consider when selecting an agent is to keep in mind that “location, location, location” is the undisputed watchword in the real estate industry when deciding where to purchase a property. As a result, a paramount criterion for choosing a Realtor is making sure he or she has an in-depth knowledge of the neighborhood which interests you.
Once you have honed down your prospects for agents, it is time to interview at least three of them. During the interview, you should find out how long the agent has worked in real estate and if it is his or full or part-time profession. It is also a good idea to ask how many homes the agent has sold in the previous year and whether any of them is located in the neighborhood where you want to live.
Tell the agent whether you would prefer to be contacted by phone, email, text or in person. Ask the candidates for references and then be sure to check them out.
There are also intangibles—or gut feelings—to consider when making the decision on which agent to choose: Do you sense the candidate is trustworthy and honest? Are you satisfied with his or her communication style? Would you feel comfortable bringing up any questions or concerns that may surface during the transaction process?
Once you have decided on which agent you would like to represent you, it is time to meet face-to-face to discuss how to proceed. During this conversation, be prepared to talk about your price limits and “must-haves” when buying a property.
Take along a list of questions you want answered. Doing so can result in a better understanding of what you expect from the agent and what the agent can expect from you while navigating the sometimes murky waters affecting the home-buying process
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