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A real estate agent showing a property to a couple

Buying or Selling Property? Either Way, You’ll Need a Real Estate Agent

Six Tips For Finding a Real Estate Agent

Finding a real estate agent who will have your best interests at heart doesn’t need to be a stressful process. Yes, there are many questions to ask a real estate agent when buying, but a little bit of common sense will also go a long way. When you want to find a real estate agent, all you need to do is follow a few simple tips.

Talk to Recent Clients

One of the most effective methods for finding the best real estate agent is to talk to recent clients. Ask for listings they’ve sold over the past year and ask for contact information (if possible).

Get in touch with those past clients and ask about their experience. Find out what the asking price was and what the home ended up selling for.

If you’re selling your home, find out whether the properties sold recently are similar to yours in terms of location, price, and so on. It’s important that your agent specializes in properties similar to your own.

If you’re asking yourself “how to find top real estate agents near me?” interviewing past clients will provide a large part of the answer.

Do They Have Professional Awards?

A realtor that has been recognized as one of the best real estate agents in the area comes with a huge endorsement.

One of the awards you want to check in on is “realtor of the year.” This is awarded by the local or state branch of the National Association of Realtors.

Check for Disciplinary or License Issues

Your state regulates discipline and issues licenses to realtors. Check with your state to confirm that they are properly licensed.

Check into any past complaints or disciplinary actions. As you work to find a real estate agent, there’s no reason to engage with a realtor who has indiscretions in their background.

Look for the Right Credentials

You have the ability to check into how much training your real estate agent has invested in. Here are three designations to check for:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): Your agent has skills and education with aiding the buyer.
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): Your agent has completed education in how to handle residential properties.
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): Your agent has completed training that helps them best represent buyers and sellers who are more than 50 years old.

Be Wary of Low Commission Real Estate Agents

While normal commission rates are negotiable, low commission real estate agents might come with potential issues.

You might be told that an agent will sell your house at 1.5 percent. But the agent may then tell you that the buyer’s agent needs to receive three percent. Your agent might also want to represent the buyer.

If you’re looking to circumvent normal commission rates, ask low commission real estate agents the following questions:

  • Will you represent the buyer as well?
  • What is the total commission for both agents (buyer/seller)?
  • Will you require a specific home inspector, escrow company, title company, etc.?
  • Do you restrict which lender I can use?
  • It sounds like there are possible conflicts of interest. If you represent me, the lender, and the buyer, how will you ensure my best interests at all times?

Extensive Local Knowledge

Ask your potential agent about a specific house that sold recently, or one that is for sale in your area. If they know your area well, they will know the details about this property. You want to work with a realtor who’s on top of the market.

When you want to know how to find top real estate agents near you, use the above tips for a smooth experience