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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Posted 02/21/2020

Whether you’ve been buying and selling homes for decades or if this is your first time, the whole thing can be a stressful and complicated experience. If you elect to use one, your real estate agent should be the one to assist you in navigating this time-consuming process.

But how can you pick out the good real estate agents from the bad ones? How do you know that the person you choose will actually make the process easier rather than more difficult?

First Steps for Finding a Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent discussing potential home with client

If you’re selling a home, your first steps for finding a valuable and efficient real estate agent may be a little simpler than those of someone buying.

Drive around your area. Take note of real estate agent signs that you see often. Although this is by no means a fool-proof method, recurring faces in a particular area usually mean that those agents know the area well. Your neighborhood may not allow signs in windows or yards, but you might find some along nearby highways.

Find open houses. Even if you’re looking to sell rather than buy, open houses can be an opportunity to meet real estate agents and see how they interact with potential buyers.

Do your research. Start looking up the names that you’ve collected and search for more online. Check out review sites and references on LinkedIn, and use your own network for more names.

If you do come across any negative reviews, that doesn’t mean the agent should be dropped from your prospects list! See what the circumstances were and how they address the negative attention.

General things to look for in an agent include having a local presence and excellent reviews.

Zillow has a tool for finding real estate agents. It provides customer reviews, active listings, and information on past sales.
Intermediate Steps in Finding a Real Estate Agent

Set up interviews. Once you have names, contact them to set up an interview. It may be tempting to go with the first referral you get from a trusted family member, but it’s worth it to invest the time in finding the best real estate agent for you.

Ask the right questions. You’ll want to know if the agent works mostly with buyers or sellers, if they have a team to support their work, if they have a real estate specialty, and if they have references they can provide.

Final Steps

Real estate agent showing home to couple wanting to purchase home

Evaluate all your information and assess your feelings about the agents. The decision comes down to two things: your confidence in the agent’s ability to provide the service you expect and your overall feelings about that person.

A real estate agent could have all of the qualifications and check every professional box, but if you don’t feel like they’re approachable or you don’t think their communication style works with yours, you might want to keep looking.

Select the best real estate agent for the job. After you’ve done the research and you’ve thought over everything you’ve found, the last step is to contact your first choice.

If you’re in the market for a new home or looking to sell your existing one, please feel free to contact one of Seabrook Island’s real estate agents. We’re always happy to set up a time to speak in-person or via phone.