Finding and Choosing a Residential Real Estate Agent
By Jenny Jurica
When deciding to sell a home or looking to purchase, finding a real estate agent is typically the first step in this emotional process. For many, the knee-jerk reaction is to reach out to the first person you know who is an agent. While this method might work for some, for many others, the process of finding a real estate agent requires a bit more due diligence.
Amber Thomas, President and CEO of Platinum Top 50, offers tips for finding and choosing the right residential real estate agent.
Here are Thomas’ suggestions for finding and choosing your next real estate agent:
Trust Your Gut
It is important to have a good working relationship with your real estate agent. “Sometimes you have to have straightforward conversations and trust your intuition to say, ‘I can see myself working with this person, and I trust them to work hard on my behalf, to communicate well and to advise me,’” said Thomas.
“The agent doesn’t make decisions. They guide the buyer or seller through the process,” she added.
Word of Mouth and Vetting
“A positive review from someone close to you is a good indicator, but it shouldn’t be the only way to find an agent,” said Thomas.
Thomas reminds us how important it is to make sure that your agent is the right fit for you. She suggests interviewing a few and being thoughtful in your decision. Their experience, knowledge, expertise should also be considered as well as their reputation in the community.
Find a Niche Agent
If you have a specific neighborhood that you are interested in or a special type of property, chances are that you can find an agent who specializes in just what you are looking for. Luxury Home Specialists, Military Relocation Specialists, agents who are “Green” certified, and even New Home Specialists can help you to find your dream home.
Thomas reminds us that while most anyone can go online and look at listings, a real estate agent can help you to narrow your search.
“Agents are there to guide and advise a client from start to finish. Finding the home is just one small part. Understanding the client’s end goal, guiding them on the financing, advising them on the terms of the contract and, in this market, how to make their offer stand out, are just as important,” said Thomas.
“Platinum Top 50 is a network of top producing agents who are civic leaders, industry leaders, and have really great reputations,” she said.
“We’ve created this recognized network within the group. Through our website (www.pt50.com), you can go and search the criteria. There really isn’t a “Match.com” for people to find their agent, but that’s something that we’re trying to build.”
“You want to find an agent who will help you take it to the finish line,” added Thomas.