How to Vet Real Estate Agents
Great, you’ve decided to hire a real estate agent to help you with your real estate journey. Now, the question is, how do you find the best real estate agent for you? How do you properly vet real estate agents? Finding the right real estate agent for you is crucial to ensure that your real estate journey runs as smoothly as possible. With thousands of real estate agents available, selecting the right real estate agent for you can be overwhelming. In this article, we dive into the process of vetting real estate agents. Here are some tips to help you through this process:
1. Lender before agent
The first tip is actually a pre-step. Prior to talking to any real estate agent, most experts recommend that you visit your lender first. The reason for this is that knowing how much you can actually afford will help the whole vetting process a lot easier for you. By talking to your lender and getting a pre-approved mortgage, you’ll be able to identify the maximum amount that you can afford when looking for a home. This will immediately eliminate a number of listings from your homebuying process. On top of that, having a pre-approved mortgage will give the impression to real estate agents that you are not simply looking around but is actually serious about finding a new home.
2. Talk to your network
It’s no secret that the real estate industry relies on referrals as well. Most real estate agents meet new clients through their old clients. You can use this to your advantage when looking for a real estate agent. Ask your friends or family if they know a good real estate agent. When looking for a real estate agent, it is a good idea to work with agents that your network has worked with and had great experiences with. This is a good sign that these real estate agents are able to work well with similar clients just like yourself.
3. Do your research
Once you are able to come up with a list of potential candidates, you must do your research. You can start your research by checking their real estate website. If they don’t have one, you can also search for their social media accounts. How active are they online? When was the last deal that they closed? Read their reviews as well. What do their past clients say about them? If you happen to see a negative review, keep that in mind but don’t immediately cross out that agent from your list. It’s possible that that was only a rare occasion and you can try and clarify that during the job interview. However, if there are multiple negative reviews, that’s probably the time when you sound reconsider interviewing the agent.
4. Diligently interview candidates
This next tip is all about going through the interview process diligently. This means that you have to be patient when conducting the interviews. Just because a real estate agent did great on his interview doesn’t mean that you should cancel all other interviews. Ideally, you should interview at least three candidates. This will give you more options and more points of comparison. Remember that in this situation, you are hiring a real estate agent and therefore, you should treat this as an actual job interview.
5. Focus on communication
Communication is key in ensuring that your home buying process is as stress-free as possible. You have to have a great rapport with your agent and in order to have that, you must be able to communicate well. There are a lot of moving parts in the home buying process. It is important that you are able to understand what your real estate agent is saying and vise versa. A simple miscommunication between you and your agent can completely ruin any transaction and have great repercussions. During the interview, pay close attention to how they communicate and how they explain themselves.
6. Trust your gut
After you’re done with all of the interviews, it’s possible that all of the interviews went well. This can make it hard for you to decide on who to hire. However, if this happens to you, it is important that you trust your gut and that you with who your gut is telling you to go for. Try and ask yourself which of the candidates made you feel most at ease? Which of them do you feel you can trust the most? Sometimes, you shouldn’t completely rely on the credentials or experience of an agent but rather on the rapport you had with them during the interview.