1. Ask Friends and/or Family for their Referrals
Why pick a stranger off a billboard when you can have a real estate agent who has already proven themselves successful within your close circle?
2. Check their License
All agents are required by your state to hold a real estate license. To be safe, make sure to cross your T’s and dot your I’s and ask to see proof that they are actually qualified to be your agent.
3. Gather Information on Their Previous Clients
How long were their homes on the market for? What was their asking price and what was the selling price? Is your home within their specialty? All of these are important questions to ask. When you’re selling a home, being sure a potential agent deals with residential real estate is step one. Step two is picking an agent who has a history dealing with the niche your home falls under. Are you selling or looking to buy a family home in the suburbs? Then it’s probably best to not go with the agent whose main source of business is in luxury vacation homes.
4. Gather Information about Current Clients
Every agent is different and will handle varying workloads, but too many clients could mean you aren’t getting the amount of attention you want. If you think a potential agent might have bitten off more than they can chew, tell them your concerns. What you might think is an overkill could be their normal. As long as they have a successful track record with a large workload then it shouldn’t be cause for concern.
5. Know Their Coverage Area
Going off of the last point mentioned, get details on their niche and market area. Are they knowledgable about the areas on your radar? If they are, then they can be a valuable resource when it comes to knowledge on schools, crime rates and local demographics—will your neighborhood have built-in playmates for your kids? Or is it filled with empty nesters that spend half the year in Florida? A real estate agent who is fluent in your areas of choice is essential on your journey in finding the right fit.
6. Get to Know Them
There are a lot of variables in selling/buying a home and this is a partnership that could last up to 6 months…maybe more (but hopefully not!). You might find a real estate agent with all the right credentials, but s/he isn’t—to use corporate language—a culture fit. Picking an agent you can have a comfortable conversation with is also an important factor to consider.
Finding the right real estate agent is the first step in an even greater adventure, so congratulations! Whether a seasoned homeowner or a first time buyer, the right real estate agent will help you make this process as painless as possible.