Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your life. Having an experienced agent at your side through the home buying process can help you make smart decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
So how do you find the right agent? Here are a few ways to ensure you’re finding the right agent to guide you through the process.
There are a few different levels of real estate agents, so you may see the terms REALTOR®, broker, or real estate agent on your search. Here is a basic breakdown of them:
- Real estate agent: An agent is anyone who holds a license to practice real estate in their state.
- REALTOR®: Only members of the National Association of Realtors can call themselves a REALTOR®.
- Associate broker: an associate broker has undergone a certain amount of extra education and hours of experience.
- Broker: A broker is a real estate agent who has completed more hours of experience, additional education, and in many cases has demonstrated leadership abilities among other agents. They typically earn an additional certification to be able to take on the title.
Ask the Right Questions
Where can I find a real estate agent?
While referrals are a good place to start, you should take the time to interview a few candidates to ensure you find someone that is a good fit for you. If you’re driving around neighborhoods you’re interested in, take note of any agents on “for sale” signs that you see. You can also meet agents by attending open houses.
Do I need a real estate agent?
The short answer: not necessarily. However, the home buying process is no small matter. Having someone knowledgeable to support & guide you through the process can help to avoid stress and make sure everything is in your best interest.
How can a REALTOR® help me?
Benefits of working with a REALTOR® include:
- Negotiating the price – Agents will help you get the most out of your budget. They will know when a home is priced too high or too low. They’ll also be able to tell you what certain features are worth and how those features will impact your finances and home value for years to come.
- Understanding complex transactions – Agents understand all of the complex transactions that happen in the home buying process. From home inspections to purchase offers, they will be able to help you understand unfamiliar terms and details.
- Access to resources and connections – Agents are consistently interacting with each other as well as other professionals in the industry.
- Saving time – If you have ever scrolled through a page of available homes, you know that it can take a long time to narrow down the listings in your budget or desired locations. Agents can weed out anything that doesn’t meet your criteria once they understand what you do (or don’t) want.
What challenges will I face as a buyer in today’s market?
This is a great question to ask your agent. Knowing the challenges you may face will help you prepare for them (or at least be aware of them) and keep the process as least stressful as possible.
Know what qualities to look for in a real estate agent
Knowledge in the local area
Every market is different, no matter what type of area you live in. Ensure that your agent is knowledgeable in the trends and patterns of the local market. They should be able to fill you in on average prices in the area and any local development that could add (or remove) value from a home in the future.
Positive reviews or referrals
Online reviews can provide plenty of insight about the experience that other people have had with real estate agents. They can make or break your decision to work with them. Ask your friends and family for recommendations on agents they have worked with or heard about, because they can provide good insight, as well.
Get Started Today
Team Melton is ready to help you with the home buying experience. Our team of professionals has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process.