Choosing the right real estate agent, whether you are buying or selling a home, is important. Different agents have their own strengths and weaknesses, and you want the best representative possible for your needs. Real estate professionals recommend meeting with at least two to three agents before committing, to make sure you find someone who will be a passionate advocate for you whether you want to negotiate the best price on your dream home or sell your home to eager buyers.
Needs for buyers and sellers are different, and it’s important to think about that when you’re selecting an agent. In both cases you want someone who is committed to you, knowledgeable about the area, and ready to go to the negotiating table, but remember that seller’s agents focus on getting the best deal for sellers, while buyer’s agents are interested in negotiating an optimal price for buyers.
In both cases, start with some research. Assemble a list of local agents and start finding out more about them. If you have friends who have recently bought or sold, ask them for recommendations. For those who are relocating to a new city, consider asking the relocation specialist or company representative for help.
Look for agents with a lot of experience, particularly in the area and price range where you intend to buy. These agents will be familiar with what’s on the market and the history of the market in the area, and they can help you differentiate between good and bad options. Price range is important too; an agent who focuses on low-income housing isn’t a great choice if you’re looking to buy a luxury home, and vice versa! Agents often have brief profiles on their websites so you can learn more about them, and you can also check out their listings to get an idea of the kinds of properties they work with.
You may also want to take a look at the qualifications an agent lists. A real estate agent has a license from the state allowing her to practice. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors, a professional organization for real estate professionals that maintains high membership standards and promotes excellent in the industry. Working with someone more qualified may be to your advantage.