Everyone knows a realtor. The world is full people with a real estate license. Some of them are smart, successful, professional, and go the extra mile for their clients. And some of them are not.
See through the sales pitch. There are a few steps you can take to properly assess a real estate agent’s past performance and potential success for you. Here are seven tips to consider when interviewing a real estate agent.
5 Tips For Hiring A Real Estate Agent To Buy A Home
1. Check Past Client Reviews
Were their past clients happy with the service they received? There is a difference between doing a good job and doing such a good job that clients feel compelled to share their experience with others. You want the agent who creates raving fans of their experience. We’ve all enjoyed a good meal at a local restaurant, but we don’t feel compelled to review it until it was terrible or amazing. A quick glance at Zillow Reviews should give you an idea of the level of service the agent provides.
2. Do they have a track record of success?
You want an agent with experience so they can help you navigate the obstacles on the path to your goals. However, age and years in the business are not how you should judge experience. You want an agent who has been involved in a lot of transactions in the current and recent years. The real estate market is constantly changing based on external factors such as the economy, mortgage rates, job market, school systems, etc… Pick an agent who has listed and sold many homes in your local market. Zillow does a nice job of reporting how many Recent Sales an agent has completed in the past 12 months.
3. Are they using modern technology?
Speaking of many different devices, does the agent’s website work well on a laptop, tablet, and mobile phone? You’re looking for a fluid responsive experience across all platforms. Just as important, is the information on their website up to date? You should be able to see all the local listings updated within an hour of hitting the market. Agent’s who don’t invest in a proper digital consumer experience are not in touch with how real estate is searched and sold in today’s market. Use their website so you know first-hand how well their technology and systems work.
4. Do they have proper support?
Some agents boast about how much work they do as a solo practitioner, but pause and think deeper. Do you really want an agent to represent you who is also trying to be all things to all people at all times? Working with Sellers requires a different set of skills, plus a lot of time on the phone and negotiating. When will they focus on you and your goals? Assistants can help manage marketing, calls, and paperwork, but you’ll want to be sure you get a true expert when it comes time to negotiate. What happens if your agent goes on vacation, gets sick, or becomes inaccessible for some reason? Teams are often a good solution as they have more people to help service your needs, but not all teams are created equal. Treat them as you would any other agent and make sure you understand how their team model works.
5. What do you expect of me?
A good real estate agent will have expectations of their clients. Whether it’s preparing your financial qualifications, how to search for homes, or how communication will flow, you want an agent who is confident in their values and asks things of you in addition to performing their tasks with expertise.
Our Path & Post Team is happy to answer any of these questions and encourage you to compare us to others. If you’re wondering what it’s like to work with us, here is a video with real customer testimonials.