- Get a referral from a trusted source
- Make sure they have their certifications
- Local agents are best
- You need an Agent that communicates well
The truth is, you do not need to work with a Real Estate Agent to purchase your home. However, the benefits of having a professional on your side through the entire lengthy and potentially stressful process of home buying or selling cannot be overstated. If you do decide to work with a Real Estate Agent here are some suggestions that will help you find the right one!
Where to look for a Real Estate Agent?
Of course, it is much preferred if you can get a referral from a friend or family member that has found and used a Real Estate Agent that they trust. Buying a home can be one of the biggest if not the biggest financial decision of your lifetime. Whether you are buying or selling it is a deeply emotional process and you need to find someone that you can trust to help you through the process. You will also be spending a lot of time with your Agent, so it is important that you get along with them.
It can be true that if your friends and family were able to work well with them, it is likely you will also have a good experience.
Referrals are a great place to start, however just because an Agent worked out for your friends and family doesn’t necessarily mean that they will work for you. More investigation is needed. Your circumstances and what you are looking for could vary drastically from what your friend or family member’s needs were.
If you do not have a referral one way to find an Agent is to check out the neighborhood you are interested in moving to. If it is convenient, drive around and pay attention to who is selling homes in the area.
Check out open houses. You can log on to your preferred social media app and see who or what companies are hosting open houses in the area. You might strike up a conversation with an Agent that you like.
If you enjoy doing your research on the internet first, try using online directories or websites that list Real Estate Agents by zip code.
What kind of Agent?
When you start looking for a real estate agent you might be surprised that there are different types of agents. Which one will fulfill your needs? What different types are there?
Well, it’s pretty obvious that a Buyer’s Agent works for the buyer in the Real Estate transaction. They will do everything from finding listings that are in your price range, help schedule showings of home for you, and guiding you through potentially difficult negotiations all the way up to the final closing process.
This could sound a little tricky, but really it isn’t. The Buyer’s Agent becomes the Selling agent when the person buying the home decides to sign the paperwork. At this time the Buyer’s Agent becomes responsible for finalizing the sale of the home and therefore becomes the Selling agent. The takeaway is that your Agent is still the one that is responsible for representing your interests.
The person you are buying the home from will be represented by a Seller’s Agent. They are responsible for representing and upholding the seller of the home’s interest. A Seller’s Agent will help the seller to price the home correctly, and among other things list the property. They will also set up open houses and negotiate for the seller.
If you decide to stay with the same Agent that is selling your home to buy your new home, your Agent acts as the Seller’s Agent on the sale of your current home and the Buyer’s Agent on the purchase of your new home.
The Realtor’s Promise
After you do choose an Agent that you trust you will most likely be signing a buyer’s agreement. After that document is signed, they are obligated to represent your best interests.
Basics of a Good Real Estate Agent
This is a big decision. What can you look for to be sure that you are going to be taken care of?
Here are a few things that you can look for:
- It is the law that Agents must be licensed in the state that they work. Make sure that an agent is listed by checking the Real Estate Commissioner’s website for the State that you are moving to. You will also start to notice that some Real Estate Agents have the designation of Realtor. This designation means that in addition to being licensed with the state they belong to the National Association of Realtors. They voluntarily hold themselves to rigorous codes of ethics that have been designed to protect you from start to finish.
- You must find an agent that knows the area that you are interested in intimately. An agent that knows the area can inform you of the current status of the market. They can also let you know how long the type of house that you are interested in stays on the market before being sold. Are they selling at, above, or below asking price? A good Agent will know.
- Often, time is of the essence. Communication is key. A good agent is always available to answer your questions. Are they familiar and comfortable with the way you like to communicate whether it be through the phone, text or email?
- You will know when you have found a good Agent because they will be able to put you at ease from the first meeting. An experienced agent has been through this before and enjoys the process. They no doubt have a long list of professional networks. People they have worked with in the past that are trustworthy. This will give you the benefit of having an inside scoop on houses that could be available, and potential buyers for your home for sale.
- Make sure to look at everything. Take the time to look at all the houses that are in your range. Make sure your Agent has the time to show you all of the houses that you are interested in.
- When you are selling your home make sure that the Agent’s ideas about marketing your home are the same as yours. Ask about how your Agent plans on marketing your home to potential buyers.
The time trusted way to find a great Agent is through a personal recommendation. If that is not an option, don’t worry there are MANY excellent Realtors and Agents in Washington State. Choose the one that is right for you as an individual or family. Make sure they understand and truly desire to represent you, and you will enjoy the entire process.
As the managing Broker of Morrison House Sotheby in Tacoma, WA, I can certainly help you with your next real estate decision. If you’re looking for real estate is Ruston, real estate in north Tacoma, real estate in Downtown Tacoma, or any other location in the greater Tacoma area, contact me, Paul Chunyk with Chunyk Group in Tacoma.