Real estate is a business, but it is also very personal. Finding the best real estate agent for you requires some work, due diligence and scrutiny on your part. Many analysts believe that the single most important aspect of any real estate transaction is the quality, personality traits, and track record of the real estate agent chosen. Below are the 6 best avenues to find an expert real estate agent for your needs.
1. Ask Friends, Family, Neighbors and Colleagues For Referrals
If someone you know has recently bought or sold a property in your area, ask them about their experience with their real estate agent. However, only choose referrals from friends and family if they have had recent positive experience with the agent; be mindful that just because someone is in a social or professional circle of someone you know, does not mean they have a strong track record or are the agent that is best qualified for your real estate transaction. Screen all potential real estate agents in the same manner, whether they come from a personal recommendation or not. Ask them for one-on-one interviews and hold them to the same high standards of professionalism, track record, and success as other agents; do not just award them the job because you have friends or colleagues in common.
2. Search The Internet For Agents In Your Area
The internet today is an invaluable tool for real estate agents and any agent you contract with must have an active presence online. If you are selling your home, carefully review real estate agent websites to gain insight into how they market the properties they list. If you are buying a home, their website should show you homes they have available and their knowledge of the area. Beware of agents with websites that are out of date or have spelling or grammatical errors; if they are not regularly updating information on their site or they do not take the time to proofread, this agent does not have the attention to detail you want for your transaction.
3. Pay Attention To Advertisements In Local Papers, Online and Billboards
Whether you are looking to buy or sell your home or investment property, keep an eye out for real estate agents that are actively marketing and advertising in your area. Check your local newspaper and carefully read listings; look for agents that give more than a 4 or 5 line description of a home and for those that provide high-quality photos. Look for creative avenues for advertising as well – is there a real estate agent in your area with a billboard, that is on the radio, or that sponsors a sporting event? These higher cost advertising mediums typically mean that they have greater success and a larger marketing budget – both of which are good for you. Of course, as with all of the agents that you are considering, take the time to interview and vet them thoroughly.
4. Check Out The Competition
If you are selling your property, drive your neighborhood, attend open houses, and review their websites and marketing activities. Just because an agent has a saturation of listings in a neighborhood it doesn’t mean that the agent is successful; in fact, it may stem from sellers choosing a real estate agent because of proximity or casual acquaintance instead of through careful consideration of their performance and track record in the neighborhood. If you are purchasing a property, it can be helpful to become acquainted with specific neighborhoods; but be wary of choosing a realtor simply because you have met them at an open house. Regardless of how you are introduced to an agent, it is essential that you check references, evaluate their sales history, and ensure they are properly licensed. A real estate agent referral service, like AgentHarvest can save you time by providing you with pre-screened and hand-selected agents with experience and successful track records in your neighborhood.
5. Call A Variety Of Agents For To Get Their First Impression
As with any sales position, the first impression is the lasting impression. Call a number of real estate agents in your area and take note of how your call is received, the professionalism of the agent or the receptionist, your general first impression, and if you leave a message, how long it takes to have your call returned. If you are listing a home, if your agent has poor or unprofessional telephone skills, it can be detriment in your ability to sell your home in a timely manner. If you are purchasing a home, you need an agent that returns calls, is professional, and works well with you, sellers, and their agents.
6. Contact An Unbiased Real Estate Agent Referral Service
AgentHarvest is a free real estate agent referral service that carefully evaluates and vets agents in your area. Through continued analysis of awards, sales volume, marketing promotions, and more, AgentHarvest refers hand-picked real estate agents specific to your area, and your needs. Unlike other referral sites, AgentHarvest is highly selective in the acquisition of it’s agents and requires that agents in their referral network maintain their high standards to remain active in the program. It is difficult for the general public to find performance and sales statistics specific to real estate agents (the industry keeps this data close to the vest); AgentHarvest’s screening process and continuous monitoring can save your valuable time and effort by providing you with expert agents in your area.
If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.
Great advice. I particularly think that asking friends and family members who they’d recommend is a winner! I think another way to week out any shady real estate agents is to read online reviews about them. Of course, people only ever take the time to write a review when they’re not happy with a service, but if there are numerous negative reviews, I’d avoid using that particular agent! 🙂