Shopping for a home is an exciting process, but it can also be one filled with confusion and uncertainty. It is important to have a professional real estate agent work with you when you start shopping for a home. Here are five tips for hiring the right agent.
1 – Provide a List of Previous Clients
Many real estate agents are excellent at self-promotion. They will let all new prospective clients know what makes them the perfect person for the job. Get proof of this by asking to see a list of recent clients who are satisfied with the agent’s services. If they are proud of the manner in which they have helped previous clients they will happily send you that list.
If they stall about doing this that can indicate that they have had some problems in the past. Always try to contact a few former clients before deciding to work with a particular agent.
2 – Get the Agent’s Sales Statistics
Many times great agents work tirelessly to get their listing clients the full asking price, if not a higher price. Other agents give in and encourage the client to take a lower price. Look at the agent’s past performance in terms of asking prices versus sold prices. The higher the amount they got for their client the more it shows their professionalism, determination, and knowledge of the market.
3 – Check the Agent’s Licensing Status
States have regulatory agencies that handle the issuance and management of all real estate licenses from sales licenses to broker licenses. You will want to check your prospective agent’s licensing status by researching your local real estate board’s website. Listings will display when a license was issued if it is still active and if there are any pending actions like suspensions or revocations on file.
4 – Consider the Real Estate Agent’s Credentials
Real estate agents can hold various credentials. Aim to work with an actual Realtor. This type of agent has an affiliation with the National Association of Realtors, and it holds the agent to a higher standard of ethics. You will often see many “extra” acronyms after an agent’s name. These indicate whether the agent has earned the title of Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) or Accredited Buyers’ Representative (ABR). It shows the agent has gone a few extra steps to take additional classes to earn these certifications. They obviously care about the work they do and the clients they help. It also shows they take pride in advancing their own careers.
5 – Ask About the Agent’s Experience
Becoming a real estate agent does not require very much training or experience. Yet, many agents have been involved in some degree of real estate. It is important to ask about their past experience. Many agents may only have a few years invested in selling real estate, but that may not mean you cannot trust them to do a great job for you. You may want to work with someone who does have experience especially if this is the first home you are buying.
These five tips will help you find the right agent. Good luck on your purchasing and selling ventures together.