According to Business Insider, first-time homebuyers represent about 27% of the real estate market. Although there is a 10% drop from what was recorded in 2021, it still constitutes a significant portion of the total annual homebuyers.
Since buying or selling a home is one of the most significant transactions you’ll ever make, working with an expert is essential. As a seller, you risk overpricing or underpricing your home. On the other hand, if you’re a first-time buyer, you might not have the bargaining power to purchase a home at a good price.
Hiring a real estate agent can save you the frustrations of unnecessary mistakes in your home sales or purchases. But unfortunately, some real estate agents are not qualified to handle your home purchase.
Are you wondering how to find the right person for the job? This article discusses what you need to consider when finding a real estate agent to buy or sell a home.
Who is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is a professional trained to represent a buyer or seller in real estate transactions. They have the knowledge and skills to help you get the best deal possible during negotiations. Agents often earn real estate commissions, which means their income depends on the closing price.
Real estate agents, brokers, and Realtors are often considered the same. However, these positions have somewhat different responsibilities.
A real estate agent is licensed after meeting the requirements set by the state. In most regions, one must complete 60 hours of coursework and pass a licensing exam.
A broker offers much of the same services as an agent. However, they can work independently, unlike agents who work under a brokerage. To become a broker, an agent must undergo additional training and pass a broker’s licensing test.
Brokers and real estate agents have the option of becoming members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), whereby they become a Realtor who is required to adhere to the Realtor’s Code of Ethics.
Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent
Here are some important tips to keep in mind when searching for a real estate agent:
1. Ask people in your network to recommend a real estate agent
According to the NAR, around 40% of home sellers find a real estate agent through their personal network. It’s not only the most common but also the most comfortable way to find an agent. All you need to do is ask those around you if they have any recommendations.
Contact your friends, family, or workmates who recently bought or sold a real estate property. Your social media connections could also come in handy in your research.
2. Reach out to a referral agent
A real estate referral agent is a licensed professional who guides clients to the best real estate agent. Like any other agent, referral agents are affiliated with a brokerage and trained with the necessary real estate skills. Some referral agents may also work directly with buyers and sellers in addition to referring clients to other agents.
A referral agent is ideal if you’re looking to buy a property out of state. Their broad network allows them to find a reputable real estate agent in other states.
You can also ask for recommendations from an agent who once listed or helped you buy a property. This is an excellent option since the referring agent already knows your preferences. As such, they’ll look for someone who meets your specific requirements.
3. Scour your neighborhood
Apart from their certification and experience, the right agent understands the local market. Therefore, it helps to work with an up-to-date agent on the current demand and supply in your area’s housing market. This way, they’ll have the necessary resources to evaluate a property’s market price.
How will you find a real estate agent who meets these requirements? One method is to scour your neighborhood to see who is listing houses. Then, research each agent thoroughly before hiring.
An excellent real estate agent has the experience, knowledge, and negotiation skills required in your real estate market. Therefore, finding a professional who ticks all these boxes can significantly impact your home purchase or sale process.