How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent for You

The first step in selling your home is finding a real estate agent. Real estate agents all have their own approaches to buying and selling. Make sure the real estate agent you choose is right for your specific property. Here are a few ways you can do that.

Arrange a Meeting

Never hire a real estate agent you haven’t talked to in person. Real estate agents are people, and people all have different personalities. Some personalities work well together while others clash. You can’t really get a feel for how well you will work with another individual over the phone. Arrange to meet with any potential real estate agents.

Ask Questions

Ask a potential real estate agent lots of questions so you don’t hire someone who turns out to be ultimately unhelpful. According to Forbes.com, some important questions to ask include:

  • How long have you been in real estate?
  • How many of your clients are sellers and how many are buyers?
  • Will I be working with you directly, or with an assistant?
  • How many clients do you have right now?
  • Can you provide me with the contact information of past clients?
  • With which neighborhoods do you primarily work?
  • How often do you prefer to contact your clients while working with their property?

Look Around

Picking a real estate agent is good practice for picking a house: it’s smart to shop around. You don’t have to hire the first agent you meet with, even if you think they will be a good fit. Talk to several different agents to be sure you find the one who will be a good match for your needs.

Get Referrals

If you have friends or family members who recently had a good experience with a real estate agent, ask them for the agent’s contact number. If you live in a different location, ask your friend/family member what they liked about how the agent handled their real estate needs. Make a note of what they say so you can look for those qualities in your own real estate agent.

Watch Out for Red Flags

As you talk to potential real estate agents and their past clients (if possible), watch out for signs indicating the agent may not be a good fit. Here are some red flags to consider:

  • If an agent has a lot of free time, it may be because nobody wants to hire him or her. If the agent is way too busy, he or she may not be able to give your property the attention it needs. Find an agent that is busy, but not too busy.
  • A bad real estate agent doesn’t use all the resources they have available to them. Advertising a home for sale comes in many forms—newspaper ads, fliers, online listings, magazines, and so on. Be sure your real estate agent is willing to use all methods they can to sell your property.
  • Communication is a big deal when you are trying to sell your home. If an agent you are trying to meet with doesn’t follow up with you, you may want to go with another option.
  • An agent’s job is to facilitate the buying and selling of your property. If an agent is pushy or puts a lot of pressure on you to take a deal you aren’t sure about, he or she may not be a good fit.

If you are looking for a real estate agent, keep all of these points in mind. If you choose to hire an agent who you later realize is not a good fit, don’t feel obligated to keep working with them. A real estate agent works for you—if they aren’t doing the job the way you’d like it to be done, find a new agent.

Remember, however, that agents are professionals and are probably more knowledgeable about the real estate market than you are. No go out and sell your home!

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