Whether you are buying or selling a home or property, you will likely want to work with a realtor. How can you find a real estate agent to assist you? Here are some suggestions:
Word of Mouth
Personal referrals are a great way to find a realtor. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers if they know someone. Be sure to ask if they have dealt with this individual personally. You will want to find out the following information:
Was the agent courteous and professional?
Was he or she a good listener?
Did the agent attend meetings and open houses on time?
Contact a Real Estate Broker
If you are unable to find a real estate agent through personal referrals, contact a real estate broker and explain your needs: Are you looking to buy or sell? What style of home are you looking for and in what price range? Would you like to live in the city or are you interested in rural properties? Do you want to purchase a building lot, a farm, or a multi-family building? Based on this information, the broker should be able to recommend someone in his or her office who has experience with the type of home or property you are interested in.
Check Out Local Signs
Make note of the agents who are working - and selling - in your neighborhood (if you are selling) or in the neighborhood you are interested in moving to (if you are a buyer). You will want to work with someone who is able to deliver results.
Visit Open Houses
One way to meet a real estate agent is to attend an open house he or she is holding. You will be able to get an impression of this person's working style and start to consider whether this is someone you could work with for your own purchase or sale.
Find an Agent Online
A number of online directories provide listings for real estate agents. In addition to the agent's name and contact information, you may find a statement about the person's areas of specialization. A link to the realtor's web site will likely be provided. This gives the potential client an opportunity to get an idea of how the realtor markets his or her listed properties.
Interview Potential Real Estate Agents
Once you have found some potential real estate agents, it's a good idea to meet with each one separately and interview them. Buying or selling a home is likely the most expensive transaction the average person will ever be involved in and it's important to find the right real estate agent.
Start off the meeting by asking the agent to tell you a bit about his or her experience in the field. Then take some time to tell the agent what your plans are for selling your property or what you are looking for if you are a buyer.
Sellers will also want to find out exactly how the real estate agent will market their home. The interview stage is the time to find out what percentage the real estate agent charges as a commission.
Use these suggestions to help you find the right real estate agent to fit your needs. Do take the time you need to find someone who you will be able to work with effectively.