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P&K How To: How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

By Rhyan Davis

Whether you’re buying a home or selling one, we all know it’s not as easy as HGTV makes it look. Weeks (sometimes months) and tons of effort go into the sale of a house. It can be stressful, but with the right real estate agent, the process can be much easier. Here are my tips for selecting a real estate agent.

Do initial research. Ask your friends and neighbors for recommendations. Do you have any friends who recently moved? Get feedback on the real estate agent they used. If you’re looking to sell your home, check to see if any of your neighbors are real estate agents. They’ll know the area well and be easy to reach. A quick internet search of agents in the area or a visit to your local chamber of commerce will also make you aware of your options.

Get testimonials. Ask potential real estate agents for a list of recent clients and their contact information. See if the clients were satisfied with the work that the real estate agent did and ask them questions. Two helpful ones are, “How much was your home listed for and how much did it sell for?” and “How long was your house on the market?”

Check out award recipients. The National Association of Realtors says that “Realtor of the Year,” a state or local award, is very prestigious because the winner is chosen by their peers. Check out the local winner of this award. It’s also important to choose a real estate agent that is licensed, and maybe even one that has additional training. Real estate agents can have specialties, such as residential real estate or helping senior buyers and sellers.

Meet with the realtors on your short list. Sometimes, interacting with someone face-to-face can help you to form an impression and decide if you are a good fit. Feel free to ask each agent questions like, “How long have you been in business?” and “How many clients do you typically manage at once?” After each meeting, ask yourself if you feel that each agent will treat you fairly and have your best interest in mind.

After you feel that you have enough information about your top choices of real estate agents, choose one and move forward to the buying and/or selling process. With a knowledgeable and trustworthy agent, the process can be painless. Happy house hunting!

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