So, choosing the right real estate agent is one of the first things to consider when making a move.
While friends and family may refer a real estate agent to you, recognize that their home buying or selling needs may be different than yours. The Internet is a good way to do your research, but you should only consider it a starting point in your search for a real estate agent that represents your interests.
First of all, there are many intangibles that you’ll need to consider:
- Is the agent’s personality compatible with yours?
- Do you sense they are honest and trustworthy?
- Does the agent have a clear understanding of your objectives and needs?
- Do they have a list of references?
Here are some additional items for you to verify when shopping for an agent to represent you:
Licensing – While a real estate agent must pass certain tests and must be licensed by the state, you should also check to make sure their license is valid and in good standing. Have they had any complaints filed against them?
Education & Specialization – It’s important that real estate agents continue their education. They can also take courses if they’d like to “specialize” in certain categories of a real estate practice, like “short sales/foreclosures” or “senior housing.” Ask if the person has any educational designations and what areas of real estate they special in.
Local Knowledge – A good agent will have local information at their fingertips, including housing trends, how many houses on the market versus the percent sold, sales price trends, and a list of professionals that they do business with to help make your real estate transaction as seamless as possible.
Experience – While a certain amount of experience is important, it should be only one of the things to consider. Good agents are highly motivated and eager to earn your business in hopes of future referrals.