12 Qualities in Selecting a Real Estate Agent in purchasing a home

real estate agent

Purchasing a home is a huge financial commitment, so finding the right real estate agent to guide you through the process is crucial. A real estate agent can help home-buyers find properties that suit their needs, aid in negotiations and facilitate the closing process. But with so many agents in every local market, how can home-buyers find their perfect match?

To find out more, members of Forbes Real Estate Council were asked to name some crucial qualities to look for (or avoid) when selecting a real estate agent. Here is what they said:

1. Experience

It doesn’t take much training to get a real estate license, so the most important thing is how much experience an agent has working with home buyers similar to you. How many homebuyers have they helped buy a house in the past 12 months? Were those buyers looking in a similar price range and area to you? Does the agent know the market you want to buy in well? Be sure they have the experience! – Jeremy Brandt, Fast Home Offer

2. Happy Clients

You won’t know how the agent will work for you until you’ve worked with them for a few weeks. To eliminate the frustration of having to start over with a different agent, do your research and check their reviews online. The most authentic reviews will be on Yelp.com or Rate-My-Agent.com. If you find several recent reviews that highlight qualities that resonate with you, you’ve found your agent! – Dave Zirnhelt, Snap Up Real Estate

3. Integrity

Realtors have a fiduciary responsibility to you. Choosing a realtor should be like being the CEO of a company and deciding who your first hire is going to be. This is one of the largest purchases of your life, if not the largest. Often, many people depend on nepotism to choose a realtor. Interview several of them and get a feel for someone you want to work with. – Joshua Fraser, Estated

4. Their Communication Style

When choosing your agent, pay attention to how they communicate on the phone, in person and via email. This person is responsible for negotiating on your behalf. Do you like how they respond to your questions? How will they handle conflict? Will they be aggressive enough? Are they making the process clear? If you have a hard time communicating with your agent, then the process will be brutal. – Katie Brown, Downtown Katie Brown, Realtor

5. Responsiveness

I have found a proportional relationship between the amount of time it takes an agent to get back to you and their level of professionalism. If an agent doesn’t miss emails or calls, this is an indication that they are on the ball and detail-oriented. Conversely, agents that are inattentive tend to be equally sloppy in details of the transaction. – Meg Epstein, Ca South Development

6. Overall Economic Knowledge

Real estate is likely the largest financial investment a person will make in their lifetime. Buyers should employ an agent that has an understanding of the economy since it’s directly tied to the housing sector and vice versa. A good real estate agent should have a finger on the pulse of the economy and any indicators that could impact housing to help their clients make an informed decision. – Brad Le, Compass

7. Attentiveness To You And Your Needs

Most successful real estate agents have multiple clients at any given time. What’s important is not the number of clients they have or the number of homes they’ve sold. What’s most important is that your agent makes you feel like you’re their only client. The ideal agent communicates clearly, effectively and often, pays close attention to detail, and listens carefully to your needs and ideas. – Annie Dickerson, Goodegg Investments

8. Honesty

Homebuyers should look for honesty in their real estate agent. Agents should be aligned with budget, neighborhood and true home values. You should trust your agent to act in your best interest and help you make the right choice in such a large investment. Choose agents that understand what you are looking for and why it is important to you. Without honesty, the process may be delayed or halted. – Bobby Montagne, Walnut Street Finance

9. Reaction Time

Will your agent react quickly when you find your dream home and want to make an offer? Can your agent think and answer questions quickly? Answer questions for you via texting? Type contracts quickly, using e-contracts with e-signatures to quickly submit an offer? Look for these qualities within an agent, and you will pick up the home of your dreams quickly. – Angela Yaun, Day Realty Group

10. Their Niche Specialization

There are so many facets of real estate there is no way one agent can be an expert in all areas. Find an agent who is experienced and well versed with what you are looking for: property type, geographic area, price range or any other distinguishing factor. For example, a residential real estate agent is not the best person to assist with a commercial real estate transaction and vice versa. – Catherine Kuo, Elite Homes | Christie’s International Real Estate

11. Neighborhood Knowledge

Deep local market experience allows an agent to understand hyperlocal market trends, accessibility and plainly, “Where are the good streets to live?” These agents will have a broad network of contractors and other vendors to assist during and after the home purchase. Long-standing relationships also allow these agents to have early access to off-market listings, which are otherwise not available. – Sumant Sridharan, HomeLight

12. How Much They Care About Their Commission

There is a big stigma in the industry now that most real estate agents are second-hand salesmen. That’s because many of them are just focused on their commission and not the buyer and seller. So, find one that is genuine and will sacrifice their commission for the buyer. Also, find a realtor that communicates well, is on the ball and will get you in a property as soon as possible. – Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty

Source: Forbes

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