real estate sale or purchase is one of the most important financial transactions you’ll ever take part in during your life, no pressure. There’s no doubt that real estate purchases are the most stressful transactions out there but there’s a way to make your ordeal go more smoothly – choosing a great real estate agent.
How to choose a good real estate agent isn’t as difficult as it seems but it does require some research and homework on your end. Let’s review factors to consider when choosing a real estate agent and resources to help you browse those factors. With the best real estate agent, you’ll have an easy time and the best deal possible.
Factors in Choosing a Good Real Estate Agent
Before Starting Your Search
It’s recommended you receive a pre-approval letter before you hire a good real estate agent for buying real estate. A pre-approval letter establishes a starter budget and sets you up for an easier real estate purchase. Pre-approval demonstrates to real estate agents you’re serious about purchasing. If you’re hiring an agent to sell your home, you won’t need a pre-approval letter. In order to get the most for your home, read our blog on how to sell at top dollar. This will save your agent time and increase your profits.
The locality is critical in real estate. There are many international and conglomerate real estate firms that have satellite offices across the country, but those offices won’t give you the proper support as a local company will. You should choose a real estate agent that works in your area and specifically in the neighborhoods you’re buying or selling in. A local real estate agent knows the local market, its nuances, and how to get you the best deal possible.
Years of Service
It’s true every real estate agent needs to start somewhere, but that doesn’t mean it has to be your purchase or sale. The more years of (local) service, the better. You can use the BBB to confirm how long a real estate agent or team has been in business. Aim for at last five years of local service. At The Meissner Group, we’ve been servicing the Denver Metro, Colorado Springs, and surrounding areas for almost 20 years.
Residential / Commercial
Residential and commercial real estate are two unique beasts. While it’s true there are agents who can handle both, its best to find a real estate agent that specializes in your type of transaction. You wouldn’t hire a plumber to do your electrical work, so you should look for specialized skills in real estate agents too.
Simple real estate transactions are complicated enough but some require more specialization including foreclosures, first-time homebuyers, or selling new construction real estate. If there’s something odd about your real estate sale or purchase you should partner up with an agent that specializes in your arena.
Tools to Find a Good Real Estate Agent
Online reviews are a mixed bag but they’re a good tool to start your real estate agent search. When using online reviews look for consistently high ratings across different review sites. Don’t just glance at the rating overview but read through responses and keep an eye out for negative reviews and how the agent responded to them. If there are several negative reviews, there’s probably a reason why. Only use reputable review sites like Google, BBB, and Angie’s List. You can also search real estate licensees through the Colorado Division of Real Estate.
Local Resource Guides
Many towns and cities put out a resource guide to help locals find services like contractors or real estate agents. These resources can be operated by the government or local private entities. Many of the listings in these guides have been pre-screened so you know you’re only browsing great local companies that are licensed and have several years of local service under their belt. Be careful when using some guides, as agents and contractors can often pay for their placements and the resulting guides might not be based on skill level.
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find any type of company including real estate agents. Did you just have a neighbor move down the street? Ask them how their experience was. Did your brother recently list his house with a local agent? Would that agent work for you?
Personal referrals are a step above reviews since you know and trust the source. Personal referrals offer you a chance to ask in-depth questions about a potential hire, questions that you might feel too awkward asking the actual company. Most people know a realtor, but don’t get stuck working with a realtor simply because you know them Do your research to find the realtor that’s right for you and your transaction.
Verifying Your Hire
After you’ve talked to your neighbor and received a referral or have chosen a good real estate from your local resource guide you need to verify their information. Make certain they’re licensed with your state, if they hold any specialized licenses, and that they’re registered with all other appropriate agencies. The last thing you need is an unlicensed agent calling the shots on your purchase or sale.
You Have the Tools on How to Choose a Good Real Estate Agent
Consider the different factors in how to choose a good real estate agent and use all the tools at your disposal to find them. Not all real estate agents are created equally so practice due diligence and your real estate purchase or sale will be much easier. Choose experience, choose local, and get matched with the perfect real estate agent. At The Meissner Group, we’ve been a trusted resource for real estate for nearly 2 decades. Contact us to learn more about our specialties, experience, or for a list of referrals from past clients. Our aim is to be your realtor for life!