News & Advice

The questions to ask when searching for the right agent

June 18, 2020

The real estate buying and selling process can seem to be a daunting task. As an experience that most of us only go through a small handful of times throughout our lifetime, it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of the home shopping process and the seemingly endless steps that we encounter along the way. Luckily, there are select individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to making your experience swift and efficient – real estate agents! 

However, just as you may look at multiple different homes before deciding which one is for you, it’s important to do some research to vet different agents to find the perfect realtor to fit your needs. This person will be someone that you work with for days, weeks, and possibly months. Here are a few questions to consider when searching for the right real estate agent.

How much house can I actually afford?

First things first – get pre-approved! Talk to a lender before you hire a real estate agent. This will actually help you connect with an agent that is right for you because you’ll have a better understanding of what you can afford, which may result in finding a local expert for a specific area that you were unsure of before. Getting pre-approved will also show agents that you are a serious buyer, and will open your pool of realtors to choose from.

Who do my friends and family trust?

One of the best resources for finding a local real estate agent is your friends and family. Ideally, you’ll want to get a recommendation from a friend or family member that has had a positive experience with an agent. Get an honest opinion from people that you know and trust; it’s likely that you already know a real estate agent through your friends, family, or mutual connections. 

What qualifies this agent?

In this day and age, you can find out a lot about a person or business with the help of the Internet. Do some online research to compare different agents – look at their websites, social media, and possible articles or blog postings that they may have been featured in. You are also likely to find online reviews about a real estate agent that can give you more insight into both good and bad interactions; the Better Business Bureau is a good place to look to see if your potential agent has had any complaints against them. 

During your research, there are a few things you can look for to see how qualified an agent is. Depending on your needs, you can see if an agent has certain certifications like:

  • CRS – Certified Residential Specialist. This agent has completed additional training to specifically manage residential real estate.
  • ABR – Accredited Buyer’s Representative. This agent has completed accreditation to specialize in representing buyers.
  • SRES – Seniors Real Estate Specialist. This agent has completed training to specialize in assisting buyers and sellers aged 50+.
  • GREEN – NAR’s Green Designation. This agent has completed additional training and education to find, understand, and market properties with eco-friendly (green) features.
  • GRI – Graduate, REALTOR Institute. This agent has extensive expertise in professional standards, legal and regulatory issues, technology, and sales processes.

Really getting to know a potential real estate agent is the best way to decide if they are the right fit for what you need. Nothing beats a face-to-face interview to see if you have a positive connection with an agent.

What’s my gut saying?

Just like nothing beats a face-to-face connection, nothing beats your gut feeling! Go with an agent that makes you feel comfortable; the real estate process can be tricky, and having an agent that you trust to help guide you is crucial. You will be working closely with your agent, so make sure you have that personal connection with your realtor on top of checking that they have all the qualifications that matter to you. 

Don’t do it alone. Working with a professional real estate agent will save you effort, time, and money in the long run by taking the stress out of the process to allow you to enjoy finding your dream home. Plus, resources like the SetSchedule Concierge can do all the heavy lifting for you – with the click of a button! Focus on the positive experience of real estate and let SetSchedule vet thousands of agents to find the perfect fit for you.

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