Who is the best real estate agent in the area? Here’s how to find the best realtor for YOU and your needs.
Real estate agents are not one-size-fits-all. Every person has different wants and needs when it comes to buying and selling their home. That being said, how do you know that your real estate agent is right for you?
Here are our top five factors you should look at when choosing a realtor.
Testimonials and Reviews
You read the reviews before you buy toilet paper, so why not your realtor? Reading reviews and testimonials from past clients should be one of your first steps in finding the right agent. Look for common themes in the reviews that are beyond the generic compliments. A realtor whose reviews commonly mention “Wow! So patient and understanding!” or “Went above and beyond!” will likely be a more dedicated than one with reviews such as “Good, thanks”. Although reviews don’t give the full story and you still need to account for client issues, you’ll at least be able to gain some insight into the realtor’s general work ethic.
This is probably common sense too, but look at what type of experience they have. This may include how long they’ve been a realtor, what types of training they’ve completed, and how many clients they’ve helped. You can also look at what types of certifications and awards they have received. If they have the title “REALTOR®” before their name, this means that they are federally registered with the National Association of Realtors® and follow their strict codes. The NAR also offers a number of other designations and certifications that realtors can earn, such as becoming an Accredited Buyer’s Representative / ABR®. You may also find real estate agents who have won local awards or are involved in many community organizations. Looking into potential realtors’ experience will show you their areas of expertise, which is especially important when looking into a niche market.
Although past experience and accreditations may show their official experience, an agent’s personal knowledge can make a huge difference as well. For example, if you are looking for a house in the Madison, WI area, you may want to look for an agent that has lived in Madison for a few years. They’ll likely be more helpful than an outsider, and they’ll be able to show you the safest areas, local hot spots, best coffee shops, and more. This information can typically be found in the agent’s bio on their website or on their professional Facebook page.
If the agent reviews just aren’t doing it for you, try having a full conversation with a potential agent’s past client. Contact the past client and meet up with them or at least talk on the phone, if the agent and client are both comfortable with it. Personal contact with a previous client will give you a better look at how the agent operates and if you’ll be a good fit. You can also ask any personal questions you have and you’ll likely get an honest answer.
To make sure your agent is the best fit for you, have a sit-down conversation with your potential agent. Sit down for coffee or go out to lunch and try to get to know them and their style better. Be sure to bring questions and make notes for later. It is your agent’s job to make you comfortable during your home buying and selling process, so don’t feel bad for taking time out of their day or asking a lot of questions. You have a lot at stake, so make sure that you fully trust the agent you decide to work with.
The best real estate agent in the area is different for everyone! Don’t fall for the cookie cutter advertisements. Take your time choosing and getting to know your agent so you can rest assured that you are making the right decision for you.
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