Not many people realize this, but homebuyers can shop around for a realtor.
Think about it. Parents interview babysitters and nannies and ask deep probing questions about their experience, and even conduct full background and credit checks. However, not many people stop to think about doing their due diligence with a realtor.
Buying a home is one of the biggest investments of your life, so why would you let just anyone with a realtor’s license handle a major financial decision for you? You want someone with a good track record, and solid training. Someone who will put your best interest first. They should know the local housing market in which you’re looking to buy or sell.
Also, make sure you vibe with them and feel comfortable with them. Interview them, and ask about their communication style too. Not all realtors reply to email quickly; some may be more comfortable getting back to you by phone or text only. Some have virtual assistants overseas, while others have teams that can respond around the clock.
How prepared are they at a listing appointment? How professional are they? Are they adequately answering your questions or dancing around inquiries? Do they give you hard stats from reliable sources, or just make guesses on their view of the market?
Interview a few realtors until you find the right fit. Many times, we hear “Oh, I didn’t know realtors were supposed to do that!” or “My realtor kind of disappeared on me.”
You may have a friend who’s an agent, or a cousin that works in real estate. You may choose them out of loyalty. But are they the best realtor for you? You want the best. You wouldn’t just choose a friend to be your family doctor just because they’re a doctor, right? You want the BEST family doctor, even if that means they may be out of network.
If you’re a seller, how will they market your home? Will they help you prep it for sale? Will they take photos with their phone for MLS or use a professional photographer with a drone?
If you’re a buyer, are they checking in with you often to make sure your needs are being met? Are they suggesting other areas or types of homes to keep your options open?
Shop around. Ask questions. Feel comfortable with your agent. Realtors should work for you.