Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to Find an Excellent Real Estate Agent

So, you have decided to purchase a new home. 

You also have your loan approval and down payment money ready. 

What’s next?

All that is left is to locate an excellent real estate agent that will help you find your dream home. 

Here is a handy step by step guide to make sure you can find the best agent to suit your needs.

#1 Do your homework! 

Choose a few areas or neighborhoods that you would like to research and potentially live in.  Also, if you have children, look into the schools in these areas to find out what they offer.  Check out the area grocery stores, shopping malls and other locations you frequent to see if they are convenient to where you could be living.  Don’t forget your route to work, does your potential neighborhood offer easy access and minimal traffic to the office?

Once you have a good idea of the areas you want to look in, keep this in mind:

The best agents typically are the ones who specialize in a certain area or neighborhood as they will know the ins and outs of living there.

However, how do you find a good agent who might specialize in the areas you want to look at houses?

#2 Ask for agent referrals from family and friends. 

Ask yourself, “Who do I know that has recently purchased a home?”

Put together a short list of agents recommended by people close to you that have used an agent with good results.  You can also approach friends who are agents but make sure they are good at what they do as a bad deal gone south can kill a good friendship quickly. 

If you don’t have any people close by that can give you a referral, ask your Facebook friends and do a few searches online. Reach out to your Twitter and Instagram friends as well.  If you still haven’t found any likely suspects, then start searching on Google.   Try searches like; “Name of subdivision or area” + “real estate agent.”

Hopefully after all of this, you have a short list of 4 or 5 agents that you can check out in the next steps.

#3 Research your short list of agents online.

Look for reviews on sites like Google+ and Yelp.

What are people saying about them?

Previous people’s experiences will tell you a lot about the agent.  Read through all of their reviews.

This should give you a good idea their client approach and what kind of service they offer.  However, remember one bad review doesn’t necessarily mean that the agent is not good. Nobody can please all the people all the time…

Next, look for blog articles on their website.

Do any of these agents write articles to help people with their real estate searches? This can also show their expertise in the real estate field.

Some of the best agents out there will write a weekly blog article because they want to educate people as much as possible about buying and selling a home.

Then, check out their social media.

Do they have a professional Facebook business page?  Do they regularly engage with their audience or is their last post from 2012?

How about Twitter? Are they active? Do they send out valuable content to help people?

You can learn a lot about prospective agents just by taking a few minutes by checking them out online.  If they don’t have many people engaging and talking about them, it might be hard for you to determine how good they are.

#4 Set up a quick phone interview.

Before you meet with any agents in person, choose 2 or 3 and call them up.  Be direct and ask them why you should hire them to represent your interests.  Ask them about how knowledgeable they are on areas you want to look for houses in.  Do they have any input on the schools or shopping malls?

You are looking for a professional whose first interest should be to help you and your family locate the best home, in the best area, for the best price.

Something else to keep in mind, as you are weeding through your list of agents.  Do they work alone or are they part of a team?  

As a home buyer, you do not have to pay a buyer’s agent a commission to represent you, the seller of the home pays both commissions to the buying and selling agents.

With that in mind, does it not make sense that an experienced real estate team made up of 3 to 5 agents will do a better and more thorough job representing you, versus just a solo agent?

The Mark Gunning Team is such a team and would love the opportunity to work for you. 

Please be sure to include us in your short list to interview!

The post How to Find an Excellent Real Estate Agent appeared first on The Mark Gunning Team West USA Realty.


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