Your real estate agent can make or break your home sale or purchase. Successful real estate agents possess an arsenal of important skills, from marketing to personal communication to negotiation. They’re smart and detail oriented, and they take the time to get to know their clients.
How can you find the right real estate agent? Follow these steps.
To start, you’ll need a list of possible agents to interview. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or watch for sale signs in your neighborhood to see who is working your area.
Check their Credentials
Do you need an agent with special certification? Some agents have gone the extra mile to earn an alphabet soup of specializations, including:
- Certified residential specialist (CRS) – extra training in handling residential transactions
- Accredited buyer’s representative (ABR) – extra training in representing buyers
- Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) – extra training working with buyers who are 50 and older
It’s also worth looking up who has been given awards by the National Association of Realtors and other local real estate groups. Real estate agents who have been recognized by their peers are the best of the best.
Once you have a list of three or four names, it’s time to start interviewing candidates. Ask how many years of experience they have and whether they are full or part time. How many sales have they worked on in the past year? Have they worked in the area you’re targeting? Do they work in your price range? How will they market your house? What are their fees? You’ll also want to ask whether anyone has filed a complaint against them and what your options are if you are unhappy with their service. Ask for recent references – and take the time to call those people.