There are a lot of real estate agents out there. How do you know you?ve found the right one? Working with an agent is supposed to help you through the home buying process, not make it harder. So how can you tell if the agent you?re considering is a great one?
The vibe is there. It may sound cliche, but you know you?ve got a good agent when you ?click?. ?You should expect to be spending a lot of time with him or her as you search for a home,? according to Apartment Therapy. ?You?re trusting them with a major life decision and purchase, so it?s important you have a rapport.? You need more than just a good relationship but feeling comfortable and confident with your agent is a great first step.
Communication is key. It sounds easy enough, right? A good agent will make sure that you are able to reach them. No one is available 100% of the time but you shouldn?t be waiting days to receive a response when you have a question.
They should also make you feel informed and kept up to date during the process. If you feel like there?s a disconnect in your conversations or you?re starting to lose confidence in the process, it might be time to reevaluate your relationship with the agent you?re working with.
You feel heard. Piggybacking off of the importance of communication, another aspect to a good agent is that you feel like a person while working with them, not just another sale. They should take the time to get to know you, what you want for your future, and all your expectations.
Are they asking about more than your budget? Do they want to know how much you?re willing to spend on monthly utility bills as well as mortgage payments? Have they asked about whether you?re planning to grow a family, if you want to be near or far from your parents, if you plan to get a dog?
These are all important questions when looking for a home. If your agent doesn?t seem to be listening to you and/or doesn?t seem interested in any of these details, run. It?s time to find someone who is interested in you more than just the sale you?ll earn them.
Guidance is prioritized. The process of buying or selling a home is long and arduous. There are a lot of steps, a lot of decisions, and a lot of jargon. A good real estate agent will make sure you feel like you?re being guided in the right direction. They?ll keep you informed on each step of the process so that even when you don?t have anything to do personally, you know what?s going on. They will let you know of any setbacks, any good surprises, or anything else that could potentially come up. When it?s time to make a decision, they should help you prepare and answer any questions or concerns so that you feel confident when making a choice.
Education is encouraged. If you hear ?don?t worry about it? or another comment to wave off concerns and questions you raise, that?s a red flag. A lot happens during the home buying process. Even if real estate isn?t your dream career, you should put time into educating yourself on the process so you can understand what?s happening. A good real estate agent will not only encourage you to educate yourself, they?ll also lead you towards resources to help you learn more. Whenever you have a question about something, they should be eager to help you understand.
Expectations are managed. Buying a home should be a financial decision, not an emotional one. It?s a big deal, we get it! There could be a lot of reasons for purchasing a new home that heightens emotions. You?re downsizing, it?s your first home, you?re expecting a baby…these are all exciting and emotional reasons.
Even if there wasn?t a significant life change happening at the same time as a move like this, it?s still a big decision which naturally will increase your emotions and stress. However, the decision needs to be made from a financial standpoint with as much objectivity as possible. A good real estate agent will help you manage the emotional side of things to help guide you into making a smart financial decision instead.
You never feel like just another sale. This ties loosely into all the above but it?s probably the most important. There are too many agents out there who are pushy and try to direct your experience in a way that will benefit them best. Some agents will limit the number of houses they show you. Others will try and convince you of what you do or don?t need.
A good agent, one that really cares about you and your family, is one that will ask hard questions, raise concerns, and guide you toward making a decision that?s best for you. They?ll point out flaws, and there are often at least one or two. They won?t question your budget and encourage you to aim higher. In fact, if they feel like your budget is high, they may even encourage you to aim a little lower.
A good agent will help you make the best of the experience so you end up with a home that you can be proud of and zero buyer?s remorse. They’ll also follow through with you so that even after the process is over, you feel supported and taken care of. The relationship with your real estate agent doesn’t have to end at closing, they can become a great resource for you long after keys are exchanged.
Forbes has a great article that shares tips on how to choose the right real estate agent for you. We?ve also put together questions to answer before you choose a real estate agent so you can be prepared as well as reasons why you should hire an agent.