Buying a new home is an exciting experience, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right people on your team. Indeed, you may be asking yourself, “What exactly does it take to set me up for success?”
For starters, the easiest way to have an ideal house buying experience is to gather a talented group of professionals, including a mortgage broker, lender, Realtor or real estate agent, and an inspector. While each role is vital to the success of purchasing a home, your Realtor or real estate agent may be the most important.
So, how do you find the best one for your family? Here are some top tips for finding the perfect fit:
First, Do You Want to Hire a Realtor or Real Estate Agent?
First, ask yourself if you want to hire a Realtor or real estate agent. Yes, there is a difference.
Real estate agents obtain a real estate license to help homebuyers buy and sell houses. Agents are required to pass a state exam after completing anywhere between 30 and 90 hours of coursework, depending on state requirements. These agents must also be knowledgeable about local, state, and national real estate laws, and they need to renew their license every one to two years.
Meantime, Realtors are active members of the National Association of Realtors. To become one, individuals must first be licensed real estate agents and have an impeccable professional record. The association is known for its reputation and requires agents to follow a specific code of ethics.
Ask Family and Friends for Referrals
Referrals can be an easy way to find quality real estate professionals in a timely manner. This is especially true if you’re moving to a popular new city like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, or Denver.
As such, ask trusted family and friends for their recommendations. If someone comes highly recommended, chances are they have a good reputation and may be the perfect fit for your family. But don’t simply take their word for it and sign on the dotted line. Instead, do your due diligence and compile a list of real estate agents to consider.
Still wondering, “How can I find top real estate agents near me?” Whether you use referrals or interview a handful of professionals representing areas of town in which you’re interested, you’ll want to hire someone who has the knowledge and expertise to help find the perfect fit for your family.
Interview a Few Professionals
You might assume any real estate agent you choose will represent only your interests, but understanding the nature of the agent’s role as they work to find you and your family a new home is critical.
To kick-start this process, schedule meetings with a few agents from various real estate companies. Come prepared with a list of questions that are important to you. Questions can include:
- How long have you been licensed?
- How many homes, on average, do you sell per year?
- On average, how long does the home buying process take from viewing to closing?
- How many people are on your team?
- How well do you know the area we’re interested in?
- How many clients do you work with at one time?
- How much do you charge?
- What’s included in that fee?
- What sets you apart from other agents?
- Do you have references I can contact?
Hire Someone Who Will be Your Advocate
While interviewing agents, it’s important that you make note of their mannerisms. Are they giving you their undivided attention? Are they actively listening to your questions and requests? Do you feel your needs are being heard? Will this person advocate for you if the process gets confusing or difficult?
It’s important that your agent is taking their time to get to know you and putting their best foot forward on your behalf; after all, the last thing you want is to feel like another sale in a long, busy list of clients.
Ultimately, Trust Your Gut When Hiring a Realtor
At the end of the day, your No. 1 priority should be to trust your instincts. If you get a good vibe from one of the agents you met with, connected on a personal level, felt heard, and think they will do what’s in your best interests, chances are they’re the right fit for you.
No matter how you decide to select the optimal Realtor or real estate agent for your family, the choice is yours and yours alone. Do what you think is best for your family and current needs.