Buying or selling your home isn’t an easy process and requires a lot of effort on the homeowner’s part. Plenty of homeowners will likely hire a real estate agent to lighten the load of the selling process, but finding the right one can be equally overwhelming if you don’t know the right steps to take to screen potential realtors. Use our tips to hire the perfect real estate pro!
Talk to a Lender First
Homeowners will sometimes miss this step because they’re excited to sell their home and shop for another, but it’s important to speak to the bank first so you know what you can afford. Getting preapproved for a mortgage will allow you to understand the maximum amount you can borrow while identifying financial issues early in the process.
You’ll be able to stick to homes in your price range while also proving to realtors you’re serious about selling your home. In competitive markets, like large cities, you’ll need a preapproval letter for buyers to consider your offer as serious.
Get Referrals From Your Personal Network
Before browzing on the internet yourself, ask family and friends for recommendations and prioritize realtors with great reviews. You’ll want to have someone with experience working with multiple clients who have similar needs as you, for example, if you’re a first-time buyer.
While looking through referrals, focus on realtors that come from a brokerage. Many of the best real estate brokerages have the top agents, as they have a well-defined recruitment process in place. Also, look for agents with a capital R in Realtor because it means they’re a member of the National Association of Realtors and abide by a strict code of ethics.
Research All Candidates
You’ve already done a bulk of the research when you asked your friends, viewed online reviews, and ensured they were qualified, but you also need to examine their online presence. On their social media pages, are they speaking to their customers and clients on a daily basis? Do their clients respond happily to the relator and their personality?
Finally, research if the agent has any disciplinary actions and vet clients by speaking to the Better Business Bureau or visiting the website. If they’ve received complaints on BBB, that’s a clear red flag you should stay away and hire another realtor.
Interview Agents in Person
Having real estate experience is always an asset, but even newer agents can appear like they know what they’re talking about. Ask them questions about their knowledge of selling homes and whether they can cater to your needs. You should also ask about their commission because all agents ask for at least 4-7% commission on all home sales.
Do they act professionally during the interview process? Do they answer all of your questions competently and respond as if they understand what you want out of this process? Also, ask about their preferred method of communication, whether that’s text, email, or phone, so you know how and when to get in touch with them.
Always ask all real estate agents for their references, whether it’s from a brokerage or their clients, and call them. Find out what their experience is, what type of support they provide for their clients, and whether they can handle negotiations. At the end of each conversation, ask if they would recommend this agent to their friends or family.
Look at the Contract
Before picking your real estate agent, view any sample contract they can provide to you. You’ll want to see what the agent expects from you, their client, during this process. As stated, agents will pay 4-7% of the home’s sale price as a commission, which is divided between 2-4 other people on their team.Be sure to look at the length of the contract itself because this can determine whether or not the real estate agent will continue to work with you. Have a preference for contracts limited to six months or less, even though you’re likely aiming for 30 days. It’s beneficial for you to keep your options open during this time, especially if the market is competitive.