A good real estate agent is a licensed professional. They coordinate real estate transactions and represent the buyers and sellers in negotiations. Real estate agents are often remunerated by a commission – a percentage of the property’s purchase price. Their income is not fixed as it depends on their ability to close a deal.
A real estate agent can deal in residential or commercial properties. They work for either the seller or buyer of the property. A real estate agent that works for a property seller is known as a listing agent. Their role involves advising clients on property pricing and preparing them for its sale. They also provide recommendations on last-minute upgrades and renovations that can increase the property’s value or encourage deals to close faster.
When the agent is working for the buyer, they look for available properties that suit the buyer’s budget and other specifications. They help prospective buyers come up with a fair bid by looking at past sales data on properties that fall within the buyer’s price range, the type of property, and preferred neighborhood.
To find an excellent real estate agent in your area:
1. Research the agents with the most listings
One simple yet effective way to find an excellent real estate agent is to identify which agents have the most listings in your area. A real estate agent with experience with many clients indicates a certain amount of network, contact, and proficiency.
Be sure, however, that they will give priority to your home and listing. Checking out their online presence will point you in the right direction. Find their websites and active social media accounts that have been used to promote their listings. Check out their online reviews as well. Pay no attention to one or two negative reviews, but more than that could be a red flag.
2. Get referrals from your network of family and friends
Ask your friends and family members if they could recommend a real estate agent with whom they’ve had a great experience. Someone with experience working with clients similar to you is ideal. Often, if people close to you have used an agent they liked, then you’ll probably like them as well.
Ensure you specifically ask, “Would you use that person again?”
3. Ensure the agent’s license is not outdated.
Before you sign with an agent, you should check the agent’s license and ask about their certifications. To do this, go to your state’s real estate department website and look up the agent’s name. You can also view disciplinary actions of any sort faced by the agents on the website.
Be on the lookout for a real estate agent who is a Realtor with a capital R. This indicates their membership of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and formally agreeing to abide by the group’s code of ethics. Certain Realtors also have certifications to show that they’ve completed training in a specific aspect of real estate. Some designations include:
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative)
- SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist)
4. Interview at least three real estate agents
This enables you to find out the real estate agents’ personas as well as their experience. Essentially, you’re looking for a Realtor familiar with a particular locality and understands your needs regarding pricing.
During the interview, check how polished and professional their proposal is. The better the work they put into the presentation, the more likely they’ll put the same into presentations when they’re working for you.
The interviews are an opportunity to determine if your expectations align with that of the agent. This might include the agent’s preferred method of communication and their hours of availability. If you’re more comfortable sending emails and expect to visit homes on the weekends, you’ll want an agent who would gladly do the same.
5. Ask for references — and confirm them.
Request that real estate agents provide information on homes they’ve listed and sold in the past year, with contact information for some recent clients. Reach out to those clients to understand their experiences and the kind of support the agent provided throughout the process, especially during the negotiations. Ask for their candid opinions and if they’d consider hiring that same agent for their next real estate deal. If they do not hire the agent again, ask why.
Learn more: Real Estate Agents: 8 Important Qualities
- A real estate agent can be commercial or residential.
- A real estate agent can work for either the buyer or seller of a property.
- Real estate agents earn a commission, which is usually a percentage of the purchase price of the property.
- Proper online and offline research can help you find a good real estate agent in your area.
- Interview real estate agents before hiring them so you can be sure they understand and can meet your needs.
- Ensure to check the references & license of a real estate agent before hiring them.