Finding a real estate agent is an important part of the house buying process. If you're buying a home, a real estate agent can help guide you through the process. An agent can also help narrow your home search by searching the real estate listings that only realtors have access to. Using a real estate agent typically will cost you about three percent of the purchase price of your home. Many people consider this cost well worth their while in order to have an easier trip through the real estate process.
Where to Find a Real Estate Agent
When you're shopping for a real estate agent, you should first ask your family and friends which realtors they've used. Ask your family and friends what they liked and didn't like about them and whether they'd recommend those realtors. Also, take a drive through some of the neighborhoods where you wouldn't mind buying a home. Look at the realty signs in those neighborhoods. The realtors whose signs are at those homes will be more likely to know the neighborhood than other ones who may not have spent as much time there.
Consider also going to the national realty companies to find a realtor. The large companies have hired realtors that typically have plenty of experience to help guide you through the realty process.
How to Shop For the Right Real Estate Agent
Interview several realtors before you decode on the one you truly want to use. You'll want to visit each realtor and get a good feel for what that person can do for you and whether they can help you out. Ask them how long they've been doing this and feel free to ask them pertinent questions about your particular realty needs. If they know the answers off the tops of their heads, they probably are experienced. But if they are willing to go look up the answer and get back to you, you probably can count on them to do the research you need.
Some realtors will want you to sign a non-compete agreement before getting started. This may or may not be a good idea. A non-compete agreement means that you are agreeing for a set period of time to buy a house through that particular realtor only. This is good only for the realtor. If you end up not liking the realtor, you can't just up and leave.
Checking Out Your Real Estate Agent
When you think you've landed on the real estate agent you want to use, check them out with the proper licensing agencies in your state. Make sure they are registered as a realtor there. Ask the realtor for a couple of references and call those people. Ask those other customers any questions you'd like about the realtor. Those who have worked with the realtor can perhaps tell you better than anyone else what that realtor truly can do for you.
Finding a real estate agent that fits your needs may take some time but it will be well worth the search when you find someone who's reliable, skilled and who can find you the perfect home you've been searching for.