Finding a new home is an exciting process, one that involves a lot of steps and legwork to be sure you land your dream property for the best price. Fortunately, home buying gets a lot easier when you turn to a top-performing realtor to guide you.
But how do you know who to trust with what is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make? How do you weed through all the possibilities to find the right person to represent you?
Begin the process of buying the best home for you and your family with these 8 steps to finding a top realtor in your area.
How to Locate a Top-Performing Realtor
1. Ask Your Network for Referrals
When people have a great experience with a realtor, they are happy to let you know. So, begin by asking friends, family, and coworkers who they recommend.
Ideally, you’ll want to get recommendations from someone who is similar to you—a first-time home buyer, or a family with the same needs as yours, for example—because they’ll be most likely to have used a real estate agent with good experience in that niche.
Also, be sure to ask, “Would you use this person again?” This ensures you are getting not just a name, but a trusted recommendation from someone who felt good about their home buying experience.
2. Talk to Pros in the Real Estate Field
To get a feel for how well a realtor is performing, ask for referrals from businesspeople who work with several agents, such as lenders and contractors.
If you’re moving to a different region, get advice from your past realtor or a relocation agent. Realtors often have networks beyond their local area, as well as access to tools that allow them to help you locate top performers in the place you’re moving to.
3. Attend Open Houses
Take the opportunity to see real estate agents in action by attending several open houses. Meeting realtors in person can give you a sense right away whether they could be a fit for you or not.
This process also allows you to see a realtor’s unique approach to their work, which is handy if you’re thinking of selling your current home before or after you buy a new one.
4. Pay Attention to For-Sale Signs
Do you have a few neighborhoods in mind where you might like to buy your new home? If so, take a drive through them and notice whose for-sale signs are set up on the lawns of houses being listed.
Is there someone who stands out as popular? Are they succeeding in putting up a SOLD sign quickly? If so, then they likely have a good knowledge of the neighborhood and its homes, which can help you in your search.
5. Do Online Research
Once you have a list of potential real estate agents you’re considering, check out their website to see if it looks up-to-date and filled with reliable information that shows they know the local market.
View their online recommendations—not only on their website, but in places like Yelp, Google Reviews, and Angi.com.
Take a look at their social media too, and see how active they are. Find out how often they’re showing off their latest successful purchases and sales, and how many transactions they’ve sold in the last 12 months.
6. Interview Agents
Once you’ve narrowed down your list, contact each realtor and schedule an interview.
During this consultation process, pay attention to how professionally the agents present themselves and what they bring to the table. Ask them any questions you have about the home buying process, and learn how they approach helping home buyers like you.
7. Understand What Matters Most to You
Every real estate agent is unique, and many have a specialty or two where they do their best work. So, get clear about what you expect from your realtor, and what you want most out of your home buying experience.
Do you prefer someone who focuses on home buyers only? Do you desire the realtor to have strong ties to a certain neighborhood? Do you prefer your agent to take charge? How often do you expect them to communicate?
Remember, you’ll be working with this person for weeks, even months, so you want to feel comfortable with them and their style of interacting with you and getting things done.
8. Know the Difference between Different Types of Agents
Finally, as you consider who to work with as you search for your new home, find out their credentials and their areas of expertise.
First, ask if they are a realtor. To be considered a realtor, a real estate agent must belong to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which means they are bound to a code of ethics that helps protect you as a home buyer.
In addition, find out if they hold any certifications in the specific area of real estate that applies to you. There are certifications for residential real estate, commercial real estate, home buying, home selling, representation of seniors (age 50 and over), and more that may appeal to you.
Find Your Dream Home with the Help of Our Top-Performing REALTORS
The right real estate agent makes the process of home selling and buying enjoyable and profitable. That’s why it pays to turn to a trusted, successful team like McGraw REALTORS to be your representative as you navigate the real estate market. No matter where you’re looking in Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, we’re here for you.
Discover the benefits of working with us, and locate an experienced REALTOR in your area today.