There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding real estate agents. For example, many people believe that agents pocket the entirety of commission checks, but much of that money is spent on expenses to get the house sold. With the misconceptions and stereotypes, finding a real estate agent can be a daunting task. After all, you will be spending a lot of time with this person over the next couple of months. Finding the right real estate agent can be easier if you boil it down to a few tactics: asking the right questions, speaking to past clients, and trusting the chemistry.
Schedule time to sit down with potential real estate agents for informal interviews. During this time, it’s important to ask them questions that will help you gauge how well the process could go and whether or not the relationship will be a productive one. Here are a few to get started:
- How long have you been in the business?
- How will you communicate with me?
- How many clients do you currently have?
- Is this the area that you normally cover?
- May I have three references?
Speak to Past Clients
The last question is the perfect segue to the next factor in finding the right real estate agent. By scouring reviews and researching the candidate, you have access to past clients of your prospective realtor. Many people don’t mind a quick email or direct message on a review site asking them to expand upon their experience with a realtor. Reaching out to past clients allows you to gain a deeper understanding of a realtor’s values, communication methods, and ability to get the job done. It’s a step that takes up almost no time in the present, but could save you a lot of time in the future.
A number of real estate experts agree that chemistry plays a big role in finding the right agent. Though it may sound cheesy, a huge chunk of time is spent with a realtor during the buying or selling process. That process is often a stressful and emotional experience, so having a realtor that understands the emotional toll buying or selling a home can take is important. Angela Yaun, a member of the Forbes’ Real Estate Council, said, “Let’s face it — buying a house is a stressful task, especially if you are facing a divorce, having a baby, mourning the death of a spouse, etc. You need an agent who is patient with you and your circumstances. Interview an agent or broker and see if they have the same emotions, outlook on life, personality, as you do.”
In the end, it’s important to listen to your gut when it comes to picking the right real estate agent. You can ask as many questions as you want and interview a horde of past clients, all of which are helpful, but in the end it comes down to how that person makes you feel and whether or not you believe they will get the job done.