Finding the right real estate agent in your area can be hard work! Whether you are in the market to buy or sell your home, you really want to partner with someone who will go to bat for you, protect your financial interests, and get you the best deal possible.
How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent in Your Area
It's likely that you will buy and sell a lot of things during your lifetime, but the transfer of real estate is likely the most valuable – and expensive – deal you'll ever make, so you want to make sure you're working with the right person.
Start with a Search
To begin your quest to find the best real estate agent in your area, the first thing you need to do is cast a wide net via an online search for different agent listings in your area. Starting with a simple Google search is best, which could lead you to read the Google reviews for a particular agency or agent, as well as reviews and listings on industry-specific sites, like Clever.
Don't be too picky in the early stages of your search, as the purpose is simply to get an idea of what's out there.
Visit an Open House
Once you've selected a few agents or agencies that, based on their online presence, seem like they could be a good fit for you and your needs, the next step would be to take things offline and see them in action.
The best way to do this is to attend an open house hosted by an agent you are interested in working with. While you are there, be sure to introduce yourself, but also observe and note the following traits:
How Does the Agent Communicate with Potential Buyers? With You?
Does his communication style put you at ease or make you feel pressured? Body language and tone of voice are also important things to observe in these types of situations. When you arrived, was the agent standing at the door to greet you, or did you have to search for him?
Did he proactively mention all the highlights of the home (newly remodeled kitchen, great school district, etc.) or did you have to seek out basic information? If you did need to ask, was the agent able to thoroughly answer your questions, or were you left wanting more information about the property when you left?
How Does the Agent Act after the Open House?
Did your potential agent follow up with you after you attended the open house to see if you wanted more information on the property or had any other questions? If you decide to make any follow up appointments, is the agent prompt and continuously professional?
What Do You Think of the Marketing of the Home?
Would you be satisfied if this was the marketing campaign for a home you are trying to sell? Were the photos of the home attractive, well-lit, and high resolution? Did the marketing blurb accurately describe and highlight the features of the home?
Track Neighborhood Signs
If you don't have time to make it to an open house, another great way to find the best real estate agent in your area is simply to track the “for sale” signs in your community. Make note of the time you see a new sign go up and remember whose name is attached to it. Then, all you need to do is simply keep track of long it takes before a “sale pending” notice appears.
If an agent is already having success in an area, it might be a good idea to partner with him to purchase or sell a home, as this agent is already familiar with the local market and therefore more likely to secure the most the best deal for all parties involved.
Use a Referral Agent
Another great way to find the best real estate agent in your area is to use a referral agent. A referral agent is a Realtor who, much like the name would suggest, refers clients to other agents who then help the client throughout the rest of the purchase (or selling!) process.
Referral agents receive a portion of the agent's commission on the transaction that the matched pair completes with each other as a reward for setting them up.
As referral agents' business relies on the quality of the connections they create, you can usually trust that you'll end up with a great agent with little effort on your end.
Find an Agent the Old Fashioned Way: In Print
Real estate agents still run print ads for a reason! Pick up your local community's newspaper or newsletter and skim it for real estate postings. It's a good idea to try and contact the agents who are advertising listings similar to the kind of home you'd like to purchase, or the home you are currently trying to sell.
You've got nothing to lose by giving them a call and asking about their experience – especially as it is likely that they are already experts in the field.
Trust Your Feelings
Whether you find your real estate agent through a referral agent, an online ad, through a friend, or by visiting an open house, it's important to trust your gut. If an agent seems great on paper but makes you feel pressured or uneasy in person, feel free to try again and switch to another option.
You want to be able to speak freely with your agent and have confidence in their ability to secure you a great deal in what is likely the biggest financial commitment you'll ever make.
It's definitely not a choice to be taken lightly.
Need help finding the best real estate agent in your area? We're here to help! With great reviews and a flat rate price, you'll wonder why you didn't go with Clever earlier. Fill out our online form to get started.