Even if you have bought or sold a house in the past, you may want to consider working with a real estate agent for assistance with future home purchases or sales. A real estate agent can be your biggest ally throughout the process and can make buying or selling a home much easier. They will research comparable home prices, schedule showings, negotiate prices, arrange for inspections, recommend repair providers, and review paperwork for you while providing their expert advice and guidance. When choosing a real estate agent, it is important to select someone who aligns with your priorities and will work in your best interest. In this article, you will understand how to choose a real estate agent to make the home buying or selling process easier.
1. Conduct Research
The first step in selecting a real estate agent is to compile a list of available agents in your area. Read online reviews, consult friends for their recommendations, and keep an eye out for names on for-sale signs of homes that appear similar to yours. Many real estate agents maintain websites that list their experience, recent sales, and even blog posts that provide a glimpse of their expertise. Consider your priorities and how each agent may be able to assist you in reaching your buying or selling goals, then narrow down your list to a handful of top choices.
2. Schedule Interviews
After creating your list of potential real estate agents, contact each one to schedule a consultation or interview. Be prepared with a list of questions about the frequency of communication to expect, their ability to handle any unique situations in which you may find yourself, the neighborhood in which you are hoping to buy, and how long they have been in the real estate business. You should also ask for a list of recent clients that you can contact as references. After the interview, evaluate your assessment of each agent’s experience, process, and personality to find the perfect fit. Remember that while experience matters, your comfort level with the person with which you will be working is also essential.
3. Attend Open Houses
An excellent way to see a real estate agent in action is to visit an open house that they are hosting. This gives you a good idea of how they operate, what they focus on when selling a home, and how they interact with potential buyers. If you are looking to buy instead of sell, visiting an open house and chatting with the real estate agent there can still be a valuable way for you to make a connection and better understand how the agent approaches their job.
4. Consider the Agent’s Area
When you are looking to buy or sell a home, you will want as much information as possible about the surrounding properties to determine a price and, if you are selling, attract buyers to the home. An agent who understands the area at a hyperlocal level can give you the most detailed information possible. Instead of having a broad understanding of the entire city, hyperlocal agents will know neighborhoods on a block by block basis. This is especially important in areas where home pricing can vary significantly from one street to the next (based on the age of the homes in that area and their proximity to key amenities). Choosing an agent with this expertise helps you settle on the best price for a home that meets the majority, if not all, of your home wishlist.
5. Evaluate the Agent’s Support
An agent who works with a team is more likely to provide you with comprehensive support during the buying or selling process. Since most agents work with several clients at once, having a support staff on hand can help them stay organized and on time. They will also be able to provide a higher level of customer service and help you resolve any issues that may arise more quickly than agents who work solo.
6. Signing On
After choosing your agent, you will be asked to sign a buyer’s or listing agreement, depending on whether you are buying or selling a home. These documents state that the agent will act in your best interest and outlines the rights and responsibilities for both you and your agent. Some agreements allow buyers or sellers to work with another agent if a better deal comes up, while others exclusively commit the agent and buyer or seller to work with each other throughout the entire process. Exclusive agreements generally ensure that the real estate agent will dedicate more time to helping you with your transaction, but speak with your agent to discuss your needs and find the right contract format.
7. Choosing Your Agent
At the end of the process, you should be able to select an agent who understands your priorities, meshes with your personality and working style, and has extensive experience with homes like yours. If you are buying or selling a home in the Virginia Beach area, consider working with The Katie Zarpas Group. Zarpas has years of experience with country homes, historic homes, vacation properties, and more within the area, and the industry has recognized her expertise with numerous awards. Contact The Katie Zarpas Group for more information about working with a real estate agent or to set up a free consultation to discuss your home purchase or sale.