Buying a home can be a time-consuming, confusing, and expensive journey. Having an experienced real estate agent on your side is the best move you can make if you’re interested in buying. That being said, there are a lot of real estate agents in just about every city, and finding the right one for the job can be tough. Here are some does and don’ts for weeding through agents and finding Mr. or Ms. Right.
Do Use the Internet to Your Advantage
The web is one of the most powerful tools and your best friend when it comes to finding a real estate agent. Not only can you locate real estate agents online, but you can perform some pretty in-depth research. There are tons of sites that specialize in rating and reviewing real estate agents across the country.
If you already have a particular agent in mind, then researching online is pretty straight forward. Just perform a search for their name or the name of their agency with the word “reviews” included. Google will work its magic and bring up a variety of reviews specifically for that agent. Be wary of any agent who doesn’t have reviews online. This is likely a sign that they haven’t been in business long.
If you don’t already have a list of possible agents, then you’ll have to start your search from scratch. That’s fine too because plenty of websites list agents according to specific areas. Find agents in the area you’re interested in purchasing a home, and then, look at their ratings and reviews.
When you find a site with reviews, write down the URL. You can return to this site later to search for new real estate agents you might have encountered. This comes in handy if Google doesn’t always return the reviews you’re looking for in the top results.
Don’t Work With A Part-Time Real Estate Agent
In theory, there’s nothing wrong with a person trying to secure their financial freedom by dabbling in the real estate market, but is that really who you want to be buying a house from? You need a real estate agent who spends almost every day following the market, keeping up with trends, and tracking great deals. If they aren’t working full-time with real estate, then they’re probably missing out on a lot.
If a part-time real estate agent is good at their job, then they’ll eventually start doing it full time. That’s when you can consider investing your time with them. Until then, stick to the agents who live and breath the real estate market. Those are the ones who will get you the best deals on the best homes.
Do Ask To See Their Credentials
While not mandatory, there are a variety of additional courses a real estate agent can complete to receive additional certifications. These may seem like little more than letters after their name to some, but in truth, it shows that the agent has taken the time to complete the courses and better understands the real estate market.
The “ABR” abbreviation stands for Accredited Buyer’s Representative. This means the agent has completed an in-depth course to learn how to better represent buyers in the real estate process. If you’re buying a home, then you want an agent with these credentials.
If they are a realtor with a capital “R”, then they are likely a member of the National Association of Realtors(NAR), which is also a good thing. To remain a member of the NAR, they must uphold the high code of ethics and standards enforced by the organization.
With these simple Do’s and Don’ts in mind, you should have a much easier time finding a qualified agent, helping you to purchase the home of your dreams, at the best price and with the smoothest negotiation process.