Most real estate agents have become pretty savvy when it comes to promoting themselves. Between yard signs, online ads, and public benches, it can feel also impossible to pick the phoneys apart from those who really know what they’re doing.
Although there is certainly nothing wrong with a real estate agent who has a strong public presence, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right person to help you buy or sell your home or property. Here are some tips to help you cut through the advertising hype and find the right agent for you.
If you are wondering how to find a good real estate agent buyer, below are five steps:
1. Talk to recent clients
One of the most effective ways to find out whether or not you’ve found the right agent is to ask to speak with some of their recent clients. This can be simply accomplished by asking them to provide a list and contact information for people they’ve sold to or from within the last year.
This will also allow you quickly gage things like whether or not they have real experience selling properties like yours, and can also provide valuable insight and information, such as how long the other properties they dealt with sat on the market.
2. Ask about any professional awards
Within a professional community like real estate, awards, especially those that are peer-given, really tell you something about an agent’s reputation and ability. Depending on where you live, there are different governing bodies that help regulate the industry and determine who the stand-out performers are. These awards mean something and are worth paying attention to.
3. Find someone with the right credentials for what you need
In the same way that looking at someone’s award track record can tell you about how they are thought of in their professional community, there are also different credential assigned to real estate agents based on what they specialize in. Although the designations can be a bit complicated to keep track of, and vary by location, some you will regularly see include CRS, Certified Residential Specialist, and ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Representative.
These specializations let you know that they have done additionally training in particular areas and should be very well versed in that field. Likewise, real estate agents with advanced or additional training are also more likely to have received a recent refresher when it comes to the code of ethics governing their profession.
4. Check out their current listings
A basic online search will generally be able to take you to a searchable online database for your area that will include all current listings. Keep in mind that, if selling, most buyers these days begin their search online and therefore you want someone on your team who is capable of using this tool effectively.
An attractive presentation online can go a long way to getting people through the front door and ultimately buying your home. Compare the current listings to your own and consider things like what area they are located in and whether or not they fall within the same price range.
5. Find out how well they know your area
You want to find a real estate agent with a good understanding of the area you are dealing with and other properties that have been recently sold or are current for sale. See if they can provide you with details about other properties and gauge whether or not they seem to be on top of the market.
This is important because it will mean that you don’t get blindsided by a lowball offer or end up getting looked over in favour of someone who was able to provide a more persuasive sals pitch.