Tips for home buyers and sellers to find the best real estate agent for your needs
Thinking of buying or selling a home? The process can be overwhelming and daunting at times. Picking the right real estate agent is the most critical step to securing the best outcome for your needs.
But, how do you find one that’s right for you? According to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States. That’s a lot of agents to sift through. To help you narrow the search, we’ve outlined a few tips to cut down your search and find one that’s just right for you.
Why the right real estate agent matters
Whether you are buying or selling a home, a seasoned veteran or real estate newbie – having the right real estate agent on your side will make a big difference in your experience and outcome. Here are a few reasons why:
- Marketing savvy– Gone are the days when you can stick a sign in the yard or peruse the MLS listings. Today’s top real estate agents invest large amounts of time and money in marketing homes for sale and finding home buying opportunities before their peers. Check for agents that market both digitally online and in print.
- Tech-savvy networkers– Top real estate agents are also tech-savvy and have extensive networks for buying and selling homes that enable them to react quicker, and with more information to ensure you have the best options on the table.
- Shrewd negotiators– Having a certified negotiator as your real estate agent means you have an experienced professional to highlight opportunities to better your deal such as negotiating list price, expense reductions or timing of contractual obligations. Certified negotiators are also trained to spot legal issues to help keep you out of hot water.
- Experienced professionals– Buying or selling a home is a large financial transaction. When there’s this much money on the line, the experience of your realtor counts. From the length of time your agent has been in business, to their experience in buying or selling homes like yours, to their knowledge of the neighborhoods – your realtor’s experience counts.
Tips for selecting the right real estate agent
So, now you can see why it’s so important to find a great real estate agent, here are a few tips to help you select the right one.
1) Make a list of possibilities
Get the process going by starting a list of real estate agents you think might be suitable for your needs. Often, the best source of information comes from family and friends who’ve had a great experience with their real estate agent. Ask them who’ve they have used and liked as this is a great place to get the inside scoop on agents that produce results.
Checking real estate yard signs is another good way to see which realtors are active in your area and price range –or check out realtor.com to search for agents.
Pro tip: Look out for special mentions and awards in local, reliable magazines and papers. Two of the ones that really mean something include the D Magazine and Texas Monthly.
2) Narrow your search
After you’ve made your list of possible real estate agents, it’s time to start narrowing down the list to find the top 3 or 4 agents to interview.
Check credentials, experience, and awards
Check the credentials of the real estate agents you have shortlisted and inspect their specializations, training, and memberships if any. Real estate memberships and certifications require certain qualifications and these credentials can help you find a realtor that meets your needs.
Also look at awards earned by the realtors, especially peer-given awards, as these can be valuable endorsements for the realtor’s track record. And, double check Texas Real Estate Commission to find out if the agent is licensed and whether or not there are any disciplinary actions or complaints.
Check current listings
Want to make sure the agent’s expertise lines up with your needs? Look at the agent’s current online listings of properties to see how closely the listings match your needs. You can do this through the agent’s website or realtor.com.
The current listings of the real estate agent will also tell you a lot about their services. Look at how they market properties on their own website as well as on sites like Realtor.com.
Most buyers start their home search online and you need an agent who knows how to capitalize on the online tools to showcase properties and reach the target audience effectively.
3) Interview your top choices
This is the time to ask plenty of questions! Interview the agents that you are considering and ask them questions about their prior experience and recent sales. Chances are that they’ll be prepared for this question and will be ready to give you plenty of details about how they can serve you.
Also ask each agent how they plan to help you find the perfect home (buyers), or how they will help you market and sell (sellers) your home. This will give you great insight into each agent’s process, proactiveness, and communication style.
Another thing to do is observe. A good real estate agent will be well-versed with the current trends in the market, the properties listed in your neighborhood and the recent news in the real estate industry. If you know of a house that is on sale or has been sold recently in your neighborhood, ask them about the property. If the agent can tell you a few details about it, it shows that they are on the top of the market and know your area well.
4) Ask for agent references
Talk to each agent and ask for contact information for recent clients they’ve helped. Get specific if possible regarding buying or selling, and type of home and price range that is similar to your needs. Ask the references about their experience, what they liked and didn’t like about the agent, the agent’s communication style and attention to detail, as well as the agent’s negotiation skills and process.
Getting inside information from the client’s perspective should help you evaluate if the agent will be right for your needs.
When you are buying or selling a home, it is vital to have an experienced professional on your side looking out for your best interest. If you want to consider a real estate agent who checks off all the boxes of the “best real estate agent,” contact the Judi Wright Team, and we’ll be happy to guide you.
About the Judi Wright Team
Judi Wright/The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano, and surrounding areas. Named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine twelve times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly. Judi is also a Company-Wide Top performer with Ebby Halliday and the #2 Top Group for Ebby Halliday Frisco.