Chances are you know a real estate agent or two. There are roughly two million real estate agents in the US. In Pennsylvania alone, there are around 27,000. Interestingly, this is comparable to the number of licensed doctors in the state. You likely take choosing a doctor seriously, as you should! Your financial health should be given the same consideration as your physical health and finding the right agent to help guide you through making one of your biggest investments is key. But how to choose the right agent for you? Getting a recommendation is a wonderful place to start, but even if you get glowing reviews on an agent from someone you know, it is best to do a little due diligence yourself.
So here are six tips to help you pick the right agent for you:
- Check into their online presence. Are they easy to find? What do their websites look like? Be cognizant of sites offering to match you with an agent as those are powered by agents paying to advertise and so they may give a skewed perspective.
- Visit an open house. Here you would get a chance to talk with an agent and find out more about their knowledge base without going too far down the road to commit. You will get a sense through conversation how knowledgeable they are and if you might be a good fit for each other.
- Make sure your communication styles match up. If you know you would rather not talk on the phone, be sure you find an agent comfortable communicating most frequently via text and email. On the other hand, if you would rather chat, be sure your agent knows and is going to answer and return calls. Things move quickly in real estate and making sure you are on the same page with communication can make all the difference to nail time-sensitive deadlines.
- Does the agent have the support in place to help you through the process efficiently? Knowing the agent can connect you with key players like lenders, inspectors, title companies, or other professionals can smooth the road to closing.
- Ask the agent about the market and kinds of homes that interest you. The agent should be able to provide you with an idea of how sales are moving in the market or where you might find the type of house you like etc. You will get a sense of how comfortable and knowledgeable they are on the areas that matter to you.
- The agent should be able to provide you with data. Of course, we cannot know every statistic off the top of our heads, especially in the fast-paced environment of today, but the agent should be able to source this information for you quickly and provide you with stats like days on market, average sales price, or list to sales price ratio in a particular area. When you are ready to buy or sell, before you sign up with your neighbor’s brother’s kickball buddy, do some research and make sure you feel comfortable and confident trusting your agent to lead you through the process!
FINAL THOUGHTS …Meeting the right realtor for you will make all the difference in your success in this venture. You need to have trust in them and faith that they are looking out for your best interests and helping you make the best decisions for you and your family. I like to tell my clients I am here to hold your hand until we get to the finish line.