Buying or selling your home is one of the most important decisions of your life. You want to have an amazing Realtor by your side, every step of the way. But how do you find a good Realtor you can trust? With over 1.5 million Realtors in the US, starting your search can feel a little intimidating. In this article, we’re going to cover why it’s important to work with a Realtor in the first place, and then break down the process of finding a perfect match for you.
Benefits of Working with a Realtor
You may be wondering why you even need a Realtor in the first place. If you’re selling your home, it may be tempting to think of the thousands of dollars you could save in commission fees if you didn’t work with a Realtor. But is that money worth the headache? There are numerous benefits to working with a good Realtor, including:
Less stress for you. A real estate agent will handle all the paperwork and legal matters involved in a real estate sale.
Realtors have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and can get your home seen by tons of prospective buyers.
They can be your “middle man” between all the different real estate professionals you may be working with, including buyers’ real estate agents, mortgage lenders, title agents, etc.
If you’re buying a home, there’s really no reason to not work with a real estate agent. After all, it doesn’t cost you a thing! A good Realtor will show you the perfect homes for your budget and desired neighborhood, and help you navigate the entire process from putting in an offer to closing on a home.
Ask for Recommendations
So how do you find a good real estate agent? Start by simply asking your family and friends if they’ve recently worked with any Realtors that they can recommend. A quick post on social media will usually lead to dozens of recommendations fast. If you don’t get enough answers there, you can also post in local groups you’re a part of, such as Facebook groups for your town or your Nextdoor community. If you see the same name coming up over and over again, that’s a good indication you might want to schedule a meeting.
Once you’ve got a list of real estate agents you’d like to learn more about, start doing some research. Look them up online to see if they have a website, and check out their social media profiles. Read through reviews and watch out for any red flags. It’s normal to see a bad review here and there, but any more than that could be a good indicator to stay away.
Probably the best way to see if you want to work with a particular Realtor is to have a consultation with them. A phone or face to face meeting (even through video chat) is a great way to see if they’re a good fit for your particular situation. During a consultation you’ll be able to ask questions about how the buying or selling process will work, and really see if your personalities go well together.
When having that initial visit with a potential Realtor, be sure to ask about their experience and their knowledge of your particular area. You want someone by your side who is very familiar with the area you’re looking to purchase (or sell) a home in.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references. Your Realtor should be able to provide some names and contact information for clients they’ve recently worked with. Getting an objective opinion of their work style, communication methods, etc. can be very helpful when making your decision.
Qualities to Look for in a Realtor
They have good communication. You shouldn’t have to wait multiple business days for a response to your emails or phone calls. It can be helpful to set expectations up front, so that you can know when to expect updates and answers to your questions.
They’re honest. Your Realtor should help you set realistic expectations. Is your dream home a bit out of your price range? Your real estate agent can help you really narrow in on exactly what you’re looking for, and find ways to make compromises if necessary. Or if you’re selling your home, your Realtor can help determine if your ideal listing price is fair for the market you’re in.
They’re a good listener. Your real estate agent should take the time to ask the right questions and really listen for exactly what you’re looking for in a home. You should never be afraid to ask too many questions.
They have a good reputation. A trustworthy Realtor should be well-known in your area with a favorable reputation. Just like with bad reviews, keep your ears open to what people are saying about them. If you hear the same red flags over and over again, it might be time to move on.
Should you use a family member or friend as your Realtor?
You may have a friend or relative who is a real estate agent and you’re thinking about working with them. They may have just received their real estate license and you’re wanting to give them some support. Here’s a few things to keep in mind before hiring your family member or friend:
You may have to have hard conversations. This one can be especially tough if you’re more of a private person. Your Realtor is going to look at your financial situation and help you find homes for sale in your budget. Do you care if your family or friend knows your financial situation? On the other hand if you’re listing your home, your Realtor will help determine your asking price. If you know each other too well, they might be afraid of straining the relationship if they believe you need to list for a lower dollar amount.
Consider their experience. Experience isn’t everything when it comes to hiring a Realtor, but working with a real estate agent that has a long line of success can give you confidence and make the process less stressful. You can trust a professional, full time Realtor to know what they’re doing and get you the results you deserve.
In addition to asking people you know for recommendations, you can also search for a Realtor on your own. There are lots of directories that can help you find a real estate agent in your area. Here are just a few:
Take your time and read through the different profiles and reviews. Pick a few that interest you and set up a consultation. It could be as easy as that!
Finding a Trustworthy Real Estate Agent
There are so many amazing real estate agents out there, and with a little help from friends and family (and a little research) you’ll be well on your way to finding a great match for you.
If you’re looking to buy or sell in the greater Sacramento area, we’d love to get the chance to visit with you here at Quantum Real Estate. Contact our amazing team of Realtors by clicking here. We offer free, no-pressure consultations, and would love to help you with your real estate needs.