How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent For You

Deciding to buy a new home or sell an old beloved one can be a major life milestone. With such a major commitment to make, it's important to have someone helpful and knowledgeable to walk you through the process and make sure you are getting exactly what you want and need.

If you are clueless about how to find the perfect real estate agent for your needs, see below for some great tips when you are searching.

Ask your friends. Agents work a good bit from referrals, so it’s important to them that they have a good word of mouth reputation. If you have a friend or trusted coworker that has recently moved, ask them detailed questions about who they used as an agent, and what company they work for. Be sure to do your research, but keep in mind that an agent that worked for them may not work for you, especially if you are searching for something completely different.

Make sure they have your best interest in mind. You and your home search are not just a commision check. A great agent listens to you regarding your budget, your interests and your timeline, and will work hard to find homes or sell your home within those guidelines. Make sure they know what school zones you are interested in, but also offer you their knowledge as well, such as alternative financing options like using a hard money lender as opposed to a traditional mortgage. You may not need more than a bridge loan to get you from your old into a new home quickly.

Look at their team support. An agent with a great support staff is going to be able to offer you much more with their time. Having a great team on their side to do paperwork, field phone calls of questions and do research will free your agent to do what they need to be spending their time on most - looking for your dream home. An agent may be new to the field, but with the right guidance and support, and if they have great chemistry with you, they can be perfect for your needs. Agents always have to start somewhere.

Seek great communication. If an agent can't be clear with you or seems to dance around real estate jargon while trying to push homes on you that aren't right, it may be time to make a switch. A great agent uses their knowledge to help you, not confuse you. Find someone open, honest and willing to explain to you in terms you can understand exactly how the process is going, where you are at and if they see any problems arising in the future. Also be sure that your agent is easily accessible, within reason. Keep the calls limited to business hours, unless an emergency arises.