Buying and selling a house is one of the most significant financial commitments you will make in your life, and it can seem overwhelming. However, with the right help, the process can prove to be exciting.
So how do you find the right help? There are so many agents out there with varied qualifications and personalities. In this instance, it’s ok to be picky! Choosing the right real estate agent can be the most helpful when navigating and understanding the home buying process.
From helping you create a budget, determining your long-term goals in a home, walking you through your dream home, and negotiating a fantastic deal on your behalf, working with an agent is your best bet!
Do I Need A Real Estate Agent to Buy a House?
The short answer is no; however, buying a house is no small matter, so having a guide to support you through the home buying process can help to avoid stress and possibly keep a little more money in your pocket. Without a real estate agent’s knowledge in the market, you are walking into this process blindly.
If the delay for working with a real estate agent is to avoid realtor fees, no need to worry! Typically, a buyer doesn’t pay a real estate agent's commission, the seller does.
Other benefits of working with an agent include having an experienced person to negotiate the price on your behalf, assistance in finding a home within your budget that could prolong your home search, and help to review the paperwork with complex jargon. The agent may also have resources and connections in the industry that you may not have.
Once you’ve saved money for a down payment and spoken with a mortgage lender about getting preapproved for a loan, you’re ready to search for a real estate agent that not only wants to make a sale but shares your goals in finding the ideal home to fit your needs!
What Should You Look For in a Real Estate Agent?
There are so many qualified real estate agents out there, but which one will you enjoy working with? Here are a few factors that could best determine which agent is an excellent fit for you during the homebuying process.
Knowledge in the Local Market
Whether you are searching for a house in the big city or suburban and rural areas, every market is different. Ensuring your potential real estate agent is knowledgeable in the trends and patterns of the local market is vital! Simply asking about average prices in the area and specific features you are looking for in a home is the best way to get a little more insight into the real estate agent's knowledge of the area.
Having a solid and professional relationship with your agent is the most critical factor in deciding if you should work with a real estate agent or not. An agent’s willingness to answer all questions regarding your home search is an indicator of a great agent! It’s a great idea to put your expectations out in the open from the get-go: set boundaries and preferred communication methods. If you prefer to chat via email, but the agent only accepts calls bi-weekly, this may be a sign you won’t work well together.
If you don’t have a real estate agent in your circle of family and friends, you may have to do research to find the perfect fit. Online reviews are the treasure trove you didn’t know you needed! Finding an agent’s reviews from past clients may make or break your decision to work with them. Assessing reviews is helpful but remember to read the whole review and decide whether the negative reviews are because of the real estate agent or because the homebuyer is frustrated with the process.
Don’t settle on the first agent you come across with positive reviews. You and the real estate agent will often be communicating so you must get along. While basing your decision on knowledge and experience is essential, making sure that you like the person and your personalities mesh well together is key. Trust your gut on this one! If you feel uncomfortable or get bad vibes from a person, you aren’t the most compatible and should probably keep searching.
To narrow your options, choose three real estate agents and schedule consultations. Meeting them in person or even attending an open house and observing how to talk to buyers can help narrow down your choices for an exceptional agent. Be sure to ask them all the same questions and compare answers!
Real Estate Certifications
Getting along with your real estate agent is great, but you can also rest easy knowing your agent is qualified in particular skills and expertise.
Here are a few of the common certifications that an agent may possess:
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)- This is awarded to top-performing agents.
ASR (Accredited Seller Representative)- Given to professionals who have completed specific training for representing sellers in a real estate transaction.
ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative)- Given to professionals who have completed specific training for representing buyers in a real estate transaction.
Realtor- given to members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)
Finding a Great Real Estate Agent
If you’ve decided to make the jump into homeownership, you’ll need an agent who is all of the above! Get started with SimpleShowing.
Buying a home has never been more simple! You can receive $5,000 towards closing costs when buying, and you can even book home tours online! We've worked diligently to make the process as quick and painless as possible. Contact us for more info!