Finding the real estate agent that’s right for you
Narrow the field
Identify several agents who have recently helped buy homes in your area. Dealing with an agent that knows your neighborhood has many benefits. Agents that are knowledgeable and comfortable in your market can position you well from the start of the homebuying process, saving you time and money. They may even have inside information about homes not yet on the market.
With markets that change quickly, it’s helpful to deal with someone who has done business recently in your area. First Tech’s Mortgage Loan Officers are a helpful resource as you start exploring your market. Companies like Realtor and Zillow also offer an online database of real estate agents that make it easy to find a handful of active real estate agents near you.
Be proactive about contacting agents and asking them some initial questions. To start, ask them what properties they have listed or sold recently, and if they have any recent clients they could provide as references. Although online reviews offer useful information, don’t rely on them alone. Speaking directly to agents and their clients will give you a much clearer picture of the experience you can expect as you look to buy a home.
Remember, not all agents are the same. Different property types require different credentials and expertise from an agent. Ask your potential agents if they have a particular focus, or if they have received additional training in a specific field. If you are looking to buy a home, don’t choose an agent that specializes in apartments or condominiums.
Don’t rely on the most familiar face
Some agents pay a lot of money to have their face seen. The most ubiquitous name isn’t always the name that can seal the best deal for you; especially in hyperlocal markets where the smallest change in address can yield the biggest changes in cost. The same goes for friends or family that might want to help. Take your time to find an experienced agent who is well-versed in your area and your price range.
It is always safe to check for any official complaints listed against potential agents, as well. Licensed real estate agents are regulated by state agencies that keep files detailing complaints and disciplinary actions. You want to know before you start signing any papers if your potential agent has a history of red flags.
As you continue down your homebuying path, First Tech can assist with a variety of loan options and Mortgage Loan Officers to help put you in your dream home.