I’ve decided to hire a REALTOR®, what’s next?

For most people, knowledge of the real estate industry isn’t common. And yet almost all of us know at least one person who works as a real estate agent. Whether working with family or a friend is best for you is only something you can determine. But just like any industry, not all agents are the same. When investing in such a large purchase as a home, you want to make sure you’re in good hands. Here are some ways you can figure out an agent is right for you.

Research

We know, that’s a big fat duh! But there are great ways to make sure you’re researching the right things. First thing to ask yourself what you ideal agent would be like. Do you want someone to send you homes to review daily? Is it important to you to be kept in the loop with every part of your transaction, or do you want an agent to handle it without providing all of the details? Is it important that your agent is a local? Make a list of your priorities, then begin the googling.

One of the great way to check out an agent is through social media! It’s important in our online world that agents have an online presence. Do they have their own page? Is their brokerage promoting properties? You can learn a lot about an brokerage or agent from Facebook alone! Their website is also important. Is it organized? Do they make it easy to contact them? 

Another thing to consider if community involvement. Real Estate is dependent on networking and community. It can be the difference in finding professionals you can depend on and running into issues with finding new people for each transaction. An agent armed with a network of reliable people they work with consistently is one that can provide the best customer service when purchasing a home. 

An important thing to know is that not all real estate agents are Realtors®. A  Realtor® is a part of an association (our agents are a part of REALTOR® ASSOCIATION of Sarasota and Manatee). A  Realtor® has access to tools and resources that other agents might not have. An agent who is a part of NAR (National Association of Realtors®) is also held to a code of ethics. This can help you find someone you know you can trust. 

The Interview

Before signing anything, it’s best to speak with a few agents before making a decision. Your company needs a new employer, it’s time to conduct some interviews! When you meet with an agent, prepare yourself by having questions pertinent to your needs prepared. Ask each agent the same questions! Then use their responses to determine if this person is the right fit for you.

Here are some examples of questions you can prepare:

1. What are some of the strategies you use to help a buyer find a home?

2. When representing a buyer, what type of contract do you typically request? (Florida Realtors® often use either a Standard FARBAR or As-Is contract. Either has its benefits depending on each transaction, but it never hurts to drop some knowledge!).

3. If there is an issue during the transaction, such as problems with home inspection, how do you handle that? Do you have any examples?

4. How long have you worked in real estate? What made you decide to become an agent?

Depending on what your priorities are these questions may or may not apply. But they are a good example of questions that can help you learn more about your agent and if they will be the ally and representative you need during your purchase. After your interviews, review your notes and see if anyone stands out. And never forget to listen to the almighty gut. Sometimes you just can tell they are someone you will work well with. When hiring an agent, it’s important you feel you can communicate well – both ways.

You’re Ready!

These are some of the basic ways to find the right agent for you. Research and preparation will ensure you are fully ready to begin you search and interviews with potential agents. Getting the right one the first time is the best way to ensure your home buying experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Starting your search? We hope you think of us!

Team Barrett is a team of dedicated Realtors®. We proudly continue our education, no matter how long we’ve been in the business (and for some of us it’s been a long time). We value excellent customer service, transparency and integrity. Giving you the easiest experience when purchasing a home is our passion. Want to interview some of our agents? Check out our team!