This article was originally published on Better.com
By Kurtis Rhee
Most homebuyers consider dozens of houses before finding the perfect one, but that’s not the case when it comes to picking a real estate agent. Seven out of every ten homebuyers don’t interview their agent before deciding to work with them.1 That’s pretty scary considering not all agents are created are equal — as the industry saying goes, 20 percent of the agents do 80 percent of the business. If your real estate agent could make the difference between landing your dream home in a few weeks or losing bids, why wouldn’t you shop around?
Finding an agent who is both good at their job and easy to work with isn’t always simple. That’s why we suggest interviewing at least a couple of real estate agents before picking “the one”. Here are some guidelines on how to decide which agent is a good fit for you.
With markets getting more and more competitive, you want a real estate agent with a proven track record of putting people in their dream homes. Read online reviews, talk to past clients, and most importantly, ask if the agent has recently closed on properties similar to what you’re looking for. Pay special attention to their history with homes in the location and price range you are considering.
Working with someone who is familiar with your desired area helps to ensure that you’ll only spend time and energy on houses that fit your criteria. First, decide on the factors you want to prioritize in your neighborhood search (schools, walkability, nightlife, etc.), and then, go through them with your prospective agent to get a feel for their local knowledge.
Ultimately, you want to make sure your agent is someone you are comfortable working with. The house hunt can sometimes take months, especially in competitive markets. Working with an agent who shares your communication style can help make the journey enjoyable rather than stressful. Spend some time thinking about the type of person who you’ll be able to work well with. Do you want someone who is patient and will guide you through the process? Or do you want someone who works fast and is straight to the point? (Your answer will probably be different depending on whether or not you’re a first-time homebuyer or familiar with the area.)
Need help finding the right real estate agent? While there is no obligation to use our suggested agents, we can help you save time and energy by introducing you to one who has been vetted by our team. Every agent we suggest has a strong track record of success. Schedule a free consultation to learn more.