Welcome to House Hunting with Direct Energy! In this series, we’ll walk you through the fundamentals of shopping for a house, while also sharing a few crucial insider tips that will increase your knowledge and decrease your stress. We want your home-buying experience a positive one!
What To Know When Choosing a Realtor
When you start the house hunting process, consider hiring a realtor to serve as your guide through the journey. This person will have access to the details for thousands of listings and can filter those to find the best options for you. Also, in addition to finding homes (and letting you into them), a realtor can also walk you through the entire buying process – from negotiating terms to looking over contracts and more.
A realtor can be an incredible asset – as long as you choose the right one. It’s important to find the person who who looks out for your best interests and not just for the 3% realtor fee. We’ve assembled three tips to help you select the realtor that’s right for you.
1) Get Recommendations
Most of us love getting recommendations for restaurants, service companies, hotels, and more. The same should apply to your real estate agent too. Ask your family, friends, and circles of acquaintances on social media for suggestions on trusted realtors – especially from folks who’ve recently purchased or sold property.
2) Hold an Interview
Interview at least three realtors to see how they compare. You want to determine whether you will be just a number or an actual face. Here are some key questions to ask:
- “How do you like to communicate?” Find out when and how this person likes to communicate and who will initiate the communication about a property. Be sure to ask how often will they send listings so you can get an idea of how much time they will spend with you on your search.
- “Is this your full-time job or something you do on the side?” Knowing this will tell you how much assistance you will receive from them, and it may limit when and where you can see homes.
- “Have you worked with similar buyers?” Learn what experience this person has with people in your price range, desired neighborhood, and experience level.
3) Find the Neighborhood Specialist
If you are targeting a specific neighborhood in your house hunt, be on the lookout for the specialist for that neighborhood. This is the person who lists most of the houses around that area. The benefit to working with a realtor who specializes in your desired neighborhood is this person will know the current housing trends for that locale, including average days on the market, average listing and selling prices, and more.
In certain instances, neighborhood specialists may even know of homes about to come on the market before they’re actually listed, which cuts out potential competition.
One warning when dealing with a specialist: be aware of what homes they may be selling in the neighborhood. Some may not have your best interest in mind if they are representing both sides of the transaction.
Do you have any tips for hiring the right realtor for your house hunting journey? Share them in the comments!