Finding a realtor is one of the most tedious tasks someone will encounter when they are searching for a house. Many people do not even understand the importance of a realtor since they can do a quick Google search and find thousands of houses. Realtors have a better understanding of market trends, hidden costs and fees, and industry standards and codes than the average person. It can be overwhelming when you sit down and try to pick out a realtor, but by following a few simple steps, you can make the process much easier.
1) Get Referrals
Contact anyone you know who has purchased a home in the past two years since their realtor is most likely still active. Find out what they thought about their realtor in a broad sense. What made them choose that realtor? What would they change about their experience working with that person? Realtors spend upwards of $400 per month on advertising, but a lot of their business also comes from referrals. If the people you know and trust are willing to work with someone on something as important as purchasing a house, then the odds are looking good that you will also feel comfortable working with that realtor.
2) Ask Questions in Person
Set up interviews with everyone you would feel comfortable meeting with in person so you can find out if you are compatible. It’s probably a good idea to have someone be there who is either involved in the buying process (your spouse) or who shares the same ideas as you that you trust (a family member.) The initial questions don’t need to be very detailed or in depth since you are trying to get in touch with the person behind the business. You want to learn their personality and find out if they are a good fit for you. If you have fundamental differences, it will be difficult to work with that person. It is important to find out if the realtor is just putting on an act to get your money or if they are generally interested in helping you find the perfect home. If you believe the person would be a good fit, then you can start moving to more difficult questions regarding pricing, commission, etc.
3) Go Home and Research
Make sure that you ask the realtor for a few people you could reach out to for references when the interview is over. If the person cannot give you references, it may be a good indication that they are not the best fit for you. Do some Google searches on the realtor to see what kind of things are said about them. There are a lot of different websites that have rankings of local realtors to help you out.
At the end of the day, nobody but you can make the decision to purchase a house. It’s where YOU are going to live, so it shouldn’t be something that is heavily influenced by anyone you don’t completely trust. By finding the right realtor, you will have the knowledge and experience of someone who has been involved in the process and can help you every step of the way towards owning a home.