Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a house (or both), picking the right real estate agent can make all the difference in the world. And despite what you may want to believe, having a friend or family member sell you your next house may not be the best situation…for anyone.
So what should you be looking for in your next real estate agent? We scoured the web, and here are the four best tips we could find to choosing a great – not good – real estate agent.
1. Check Their Knowledge of the Area
Real estate agents used to operate in a wide, open expanse, able to list and sell just about anything they could drive to. That’s not the case anymore; with over a million realtors currently operating in the United States, your next agent needs to pick a geographic territory and defend it with their life.
That means understanding everything about their area, from the best restaurants to the right schools and what parks are best for kids between the ages of 4-8. Test potential real estate agents’ knowledge of your area, and you’ll find out real quick which ones are worth hiring.
2. Check With Their Most Recent Clients
Ask your real estate agent to provide a list of their most recent clients. If they refuse to provide one, or are slow getting around to it, that should be a gigantic red flag. Call up a few of them (if they’re willing) and ask a few questions about their experience. Check the listings with the homes your agent provided you and compare them to your own. Are they in a similar market and price point? Similar neighborhood? How will your experience compare to what they’ve done in the past?
3. Check Their Credentials
Unless an agent is brand new, they should have a few awards or certifications under their belt. Ask what certifications they hold (CRS, ABR, SRES, etc) and whether they’re a member of the NAR (National Association of Realtors). The most important thing is that they have formally stated their desire to operate within a uniform code of conduct, in addition to the extra training they’ve received.
4. Check Their Current Listings
How many homes does the agent currently have listed, and how long have they been on the market? Are the listing and photos professionally done? Do they have a social media presence, and if so, how does it look? Seeing how an agent frames other people’s houses can give you a great idea of what to expect when they try to sell your own.
Picking the right real estate agent can be tough, but the good news is, once you’ve picked a good one, you can rely on their expertise to help you sell your home or buy your next one, leaving you to worry about the more important things, like starting your new life.