Buying a home can be a frightening experience without the right realtor® in your corner. They help you negotiate contracts, tour homes, and understand what you can get in your market. A common question many buyers have is how to find a great real estate agent. This blog will help answer where to find a realtor®, vet them, and tips for a smoother buying experience.
Where To Find The Right Real Estate Agent?
A great place to find a real estate agent will be a referral from a family member or friend. When you get a referral, it means that the referring party trusts them enough to bet their reputation on. This is a good indicator that you can trust this person.
Make sure to ask the referring party how they know them and if they had a great experience with that realtor®. Be sure to ask why. While this agent may be a good fit for them, it’s possible they may not be a good fit for you.
Another place you can find a realtor® is online. While Google can be an excellent place to start, you want to check multiple places. Google allows businesses to pay to be placed at the top of their search screen.
While they may be good, it’s essential to search social media to find local agents that you think suit your family’s needs. You can check Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook by searching for your city name plus the word “realtor®.”
Local Lending Professional
The best way to find a realtor® will be to ask the professional lending helping you with your pre-approval. They will have a network of real estate agents that they enjoy working with and will match your family’s needs perfectly.
Referrals from a lender tend to be a safer choice because the loan officer’s paycheck depends on the agent delivering on their promise. They want to send you somewhere that will have the highest chance of success.
How To Research Your Real Estate Agent?
Once you find the perfect realtor® for you, it’s time to start researching them online. Doing this research can help you feel more comfortable and ultimately improve the entire experience.
Look At Social Media
The first place you’ll want to head is to social media. Look them up on their business and professional profiles and ensure that they are professional and legitimate. You’ll also have a chance to see more of their personality and what helps them stand out.
You’ll want to focus on looking at:
- The kinds of content they put out (educational, entertainment, opinions, etc.)
- How active they are at promoting their business
- If they are brand new to the industry
- If they switch companies too frequently
- Any possible red flags
After looking at their social media profiles, check out their website. While a website will not be the best indicator of their service, it will be the most polished version of their online brand. A website should show:
- What they do better than anyone in their market
- Their history
- Where they are located
- Reviews or testimonials
- What products, programs, or strategies do they have available
- What technology do they use
Finally, it would be best if you looked at testimonials left by their clients and referral partners. The people to leave testimonials tend to be extremely happy or disgruntled customers, both of which you want to read about. Places you can look for testimonials include:
- Their website
- Better Business Bureau
Don’t expect all of the reviews to be five stars. Less than 5-star reviews provide legitimacy and show that they make mistakes but actively fix them. If someone has thousands of only 5-star reviews, this could be a potential red flag.
Bonus Tips To Making Your Homebuying Experience Better
Picking the right agent can help significantly, but there are ways you can make your experience better on your own. These tips can help shorten the entire home buying experience and make it less bumpy along the way.
Ensuring that you can be available during the homebuying process can help your realtor® be a better agent. They will need you to:
- Tour homes
- Coordinate financing
- Commit to offers on homes
- Make final decisions about negotiations
When you are constantly working or taking multiple days to respond, it can make it tough to find and get under contract on a home. Suppose you are in a seller’s market. In that case, it can be tough to get an accepted offer on a home, and being unavailable could mean never finding the right home.
While you may want to be an “easy” client, it pays to be honest with your real estate agent. When it comes time to whether you like a home, be clear and concise with what you like and don’t. They aren’t going to be offended and will be able to help you find a home that meets your needs more quickly.
You also want to be honest about your financing. It might be scary to talk about your finances with a stranger. Still, if you are clear about your options and the loan program you are using, they can find a property that matches.
It’s also imperative that you are realistic with what you can get in your specific market. If you aren’t open to hearing about your choices from your agent, you could be searching forever. While you may get great advice from family members who have bought before, they are not experienced in shifting local markets, and you may be setting yourself up for failure by taking their advice. Trust your realtor® and allow them to help you set realistic expectations about the market.
If you are looking for a great realtor® or loan officer and want to get started on your homebuying journey, click here. We can help you get pre-approved while finding the perfect real estate agent for you and your family.