Understanding the importance and process of finding a good real estate agent is an essential part of both the purchase and sales process of a home. An agent should be able to help guide you through the entire process. You will have questions from technical to financial, and an agent should be able to save you from the wormhole of Google answers. A good agent is going to have a handle on your area’s housing market as well. These are some standard places to look for someone you can rely on.
Find the most popular agent
Probably the easiest, least aggressive way is to look for the agent with the most listings. Having experience with a variety of clients, especially in your area, shows that they have drive. Be wary of where you may fall on their priority list. If they are already heavily investing in a majority of the listings around you, you may not get the attention you would like.
The friends and family plan
If you have a trusted friend or family member who has recently bought or sold a home, ask them about their agent. If they would use them again, it is a safe bet that you will like working with them.
Ask your previous agent
Just because you are moving out of the reach of your previous agent doesn’t mean they cannot still help you. Some brokerages have a network that spans the country and can find you a good fit. It certainly can’t hurt to ask, right?
Talk to someone who specializes in relocation
Anytime you move cross country it can be anxiety-inducing. If you are unfamiliar with the agents in the new location, it can be even more so. By contacting an agent with a specialty in relocation, you will have the best information available to make your decision.
Look for an agent that is also active in the community
It is one thing to sell real estate in an area, it is another to be invested in the community. If you can find an agent who does both, snatch them up. It is a different angle, but different is good.
Determine what “great” means to you
What you think is a good quality for a realtor may differ greatly from what someone else is looking for. Write a list of what you want in a real estate agent and ask about those qualities. Over the (potential) months that your purchase will take place, you will have to communicate with your realtor. Finding someone you get along with is helpful.
Check out credentials
When you sign with an agent, you want to make sure that the agent’s license is up to date. Check with the state real estate department. This is also a good way to ensure that you have an ethical agent hasn’t been in any trouble.