Years of saving up, abstaining from posh night-outs and vacations, and paying an overpriced rent, are finally over. Your credit’s got a good standing, you’ve stashed away enough money to make the down payment, and your dream home has never been so tangible.

Or, perhaps, you plan to put your property up for sale and strike a lucrative deal that will allow you to invest the capital into purchasing a new place for house flipping, buying a home for your family, or growing your business.

Wherever you are in life, buying and selling properties is a joyous, but a challenging journey as well. That’s why, when conducting a real estate business, you need a friend – a reliable, trustworthy, experienced, and adroit realtor who will guide you through the intricacies and assist you every step of the way.

But what can a real estate agent do for you, and how do you recognize the best one – let’s find out.

What Do Real Estate Agents Do?

A real estate agent, or realtor, provides their clients with a variety of services that help them buy, rent, or sell properties. Your realtor should advise you about market conditions, conduct walkthroughs, and offer guidance in all aspects of the realty process.

But you may now wonder – if I have already found the house of my dreams, or determined the value of the property I wish to rent or sell, why would I need a real estate agent? 

Well, it is because they can do it all with a much more favorable arrangement on the table. Realtors know the neighborhood, have access to a wide set of listings and understand all the legal and financial technicalities, thus saving you time, money, and energy when in the buying/selling process.

Moreover, hiring a real estate agent is an investment in the means of employing their experience on the market to get the best possible deal. How so? 

Well, realtors have worked with countless investors, families, and businesses, granting diverse requests, finding answers to a variety of questions, and tackling the issues they never knew existed. 

Therefore, a great realtor will confront you with potential issues you wouldn’t think could arise, open your eyes to situations you’d never think of, and generally, just help you make the best possible decision for your future. 

Now that we’ve covered the whys, let’s see the steps and tips for finding your best realtor.

Look for the Agents Recommended by Trusted Sources

Despite all the online and offline endeavors, no marketing strategy beats the good ol’ word of mouth. So, instead of completely relying on the promises and perks stated on an agent’s website, advertisement, and neighborhood sign, what you should do is contact their previous clients.

Reach out to both satisfied clients and those whose purchase/sale failed. That way you’ll be able to discover the strong points as well as weak sides of your potential real estate agent and thus determine whether they suit your needs.

In case your network doesn’t yield satisfactory results, you can always scan through different forums, groups, or directories, or even contact real estate attorneys or mortgage brokers who may recommend a reliable, diligent real estate agent.

Visit Open Houses

What better way to assess the expertise of and compatibility with a real estate agent than watching them in the act? 

In order to find your perfect realtor, attend open houses in the neighborhood you’re interested in. Look for a real estate agent that is polite, knowledgeable, informative, and motivated – not aloof and boorish. 

They should be ready to answer all your questions, take initiative, recognize and respond to your desires, and ultimately, leave a friendly yet professional impression.

Find Your Ideal Agent via Real Estate Brokerages

Real estate brokerages are the realtors’ hubs, so getting in touch with your local realty broker might prove quite productive. Researching different brokerages can not only give you insight into a specific agent’s experience, but also the general practices in the real estate business, lesser-known legal aspects, or financial details.

Check Out The Agents’ References

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a couple of great realtors, it’s time to dig a bit deeper. Ask for their references along with the contact info of past clients. Reach out to the clients to find out about their experience with the agent and the scope of services they provided.

Mostly negative or even false references are a red flag and it is in your best interest to avoid any further collaboration with such realtors, regardless of their excuses and promises.

Find Out What They Can Do For You

Different real estate agents have distinct views on the best realty practices, and in the process of opting for a realtor, you’ll have to decide on what is it that you exactly need from your agent.

If you rent or sell a property, your real estate agent might suggest staging the rooms in order to enhance the visual charm of the space or provide insight into how can you make the home/office more appealing to potential buyers. 

On the other hand, residence buyers will find it invaluable to partner with a real estate agent willing to advise them on potential defects and needed overhauls of the bought home.

Put the Agent to the Test

Before you’ve made the final decision on a particular agent who will assist you in buying/selling your property, you should conduct a small test. Set up a meeting with the prospective realtor where you will discuss the specifics of the buy/sell process, but make sure to throw in some ill-judged remark. 

For example, underprice or overpriced your property so that you can observe the agent’s reaction. If they advise you to alter the price or warn you of the potential issues you might face, you’ll know you found an honest and trustworthy agent motivated to help you.

Let’s Wrap Up

Having a real estate agent by your side while purchasing/selling a property is imperative if you’re looking to sign a fair and profitable deal. But to find the best realtor for your needs, you will need to go a long way of asking around, researching, and querying agents, brokers, and their clients.

Make sure you’ve done your investigation before reaching the final decision, however, keep in mind to respect the time and effort the prospective agents you’re negotiating with put in helping you. At the end of the day, it’s all about achieving the balance between the agent’s prospects and your requirements and desires that yield excellent results.