Having the right real estate agent by your side is important when you’re buying a home. They can tour you around the best neighborhoods and speed up negotiations with the seller.
Most importantly, they can help you get the best price for your dream home. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says that as much as 89 percent of buyers were able to settle down in their new home, thanks to a real estate agent.
How do you choose the real estate agent who can turn your home buying experience into an easy and pleasant one? Here are some home-buying tips.
- Set your priorities
- Look for red flags
- Ask friends and family for referrals
- Talk to homeowners with the same requirements as yours
- Search for agents online
- Tour the neighborhoods you’d like to live in
- Interview your candidates
When it comes to home buying, it’s different strokes for different folks. What are the qualities you’re looking for in a real estate agent? What’s the communication style you prefer? Do you need your agent to be on-call 24/7? Do you want somebody honest and won’t sugarcoat things for you? How about an agent who studies your lifestyle and tastes, and gives you suggestions? Does your agent need to have a Rolodex of contractors?
List down these qualities and make it a priority to find an agent who fits your bill.
Beware of aggressive agents, as well as those who aren’t straightforward when talking about their experience. This could be a sign of dishonesty. If an agent markets themselves as a jack of all trades, reconsider. You want a specialist who deals in the areas and property types you’re interested in.
Take note of your prospective agent’s punctuality. Being late to your initial interview can imply incompetence. And if an agent has no references or reviews to back up their claims, move on to your next candidate.
People you’re closest with, like friends and family, are after your welfare. They can help make the search for an agent easier and faster. If you know anybody from your circle who recently bought a home with the help of an agent, ask them for referrals.
That said, don’t hire the agent just because somebody close to you referred them. Let the candidate also go through your screening process.
Check in with your neighbors who share your preferences and lifestyle. Did they buy the home with a real estate agent and can they refer you?
If your friends and family don’t have referrals, take the search online. Pull up your preferred search browser on your device and type “real estate agents near me” or “real estate agents in Williamsburg, VA.” Using these keywords will help you find a list of real estate agents, one of which may be the perfect fit for you.
You can even narrow down your list of candidates based on information you find online. Most real estate agents these days have their own websites or online profiles where you can learn about their experience and expertise. You can also check Better Business Bureau to see if they have good business practices.
If you are fine with working with a real estate agent who’s also representing the seller, on-the-ground research will help you. Drive to the neighborhoods and see if there are any homes for sale. Get in touch with the listing agents—you can find their names and contact details on the “for sale” signs.
Working with dual agents, however, can present conflicts of interest. If they’re representing both the seller and the buyer, you might find yourself in a situation where your needs aren’t being met.
If you want your interests as a buyer duly represented, it’s best to look for a buyer’s agent.
Get to know prospective real estate agents through a socially distanced or virtual meeting. This allows you to ask questions about their work, background, work ethic, etc. You can also ask follow-up questions.
Good real estate agents stay updated with industry trends and developments. Check if they have niche designations that will help you further your real estate goals.
Let us help you with your home purchase
Our team at Coldwell Banker Traditions has over a century of real estate experience helping home buyers like you find their dream homes in Williamsburg, Peninsula, Hampton Roads, and New Kent. Let’s get you started on what can be your best home buying experience.