Many home shoppers, especially first-time buyers, aren’t quite sure how to select a real estate professional who can serve their specific needs. Bankrate offers some “industry secrets” that will probably help anyone who has never worked with an agent before.
Some people just ask their friends and relatives to recommend an RE pro, which is a good starting point. But, for a better fit, do a bit of research first. There’s plenty of information out there for the asking. Here’s what Bankrate suggests as a 6-step process to help you locate the real estate professional that suits your needs:
Talk with recent clients
Ask agents to provide a list of what they’ve listed and sold in the past year, with contact information,
Verify the agent’s licensing
Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out if the person is licensed and if there have been any disciplinary actions or complaints,
Choose someone who has earned peer awards
Peer awards are important in this business and are taken very seriously by those in the know. An agent who has been recognized by peers is a very positive sign.
Select an agent with the right credentials
Real estate professionals, like dentists and doctors, specialize. Ask prospective agents what their experience is with the type of property you are interested in.
Research how long the agent has been in business
Be sure to ask each agent how long they have been in the business. The longer the better. You can always verify this fact with the state board if you are in doubt.
Look at their current listings
Look for an agent who has experience with the kind of homes (price range and age) that you seek. Again, you are looking for someone who is a good match with your particular needs.
It’s all about due diligence and making sure you hire someone you can work with. Purchasing a home is a huge decision and a long-term financial responsibility. Better to enter the transaction with a seasoned pro by your side. Happy house-hunting.