Buying a home is a big commitment, and one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is choosing an agent. An agent will help walk you through all the paperwork and will know far more about the whole buying process than you could try figure out on your own. You definitely don’t want to try navigate through everything alone and end up overlooking something on an inspection. Here’s a quick guide for choosing a real estate agent:
Ask Your Network for Referrals
Ask the people you trust about who they’ve used in the past and what their experiences have been like. Especially if they’ve used more than one realtor before. Ask them specifically what they liked or disliked about their experience. Personally, I have friends who have used Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty and had a great experience.
Look for a Licensed Realtor
Look for a realtor who is licensed with a national association like the National Association of Realtors. On top of that, see if they are also licensed in the state they are working in. These groups are designed to ensure that there are certain standards that are met by each realtor. The same thing applies with whoever you are using for inspections. When you think about it, it goes for any industry, for example, if you’re dealing with food and health, you’ll want to check first with the Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada.
Speak to More Than One Realtor
You don’t want to be “married” to the first agent you meet. You should certainly speak with more than one realtor to find the person who fits best. Think about what your needs are, for example, the area you are wanting to live in, how quickly you would like to close on a home, or how busy you may be. If you already have a lender who you trust, you can also ask him or her to refer you to an agent.
Some realtors will ask you to sign a contract that you are working with them. This is absolutely normal since realtors work on commission and only get paid if the purchase goes through, so the realtor will not want you “two-timing” and using another agent at the same time. Just make sure you double-check all the terms of the contract. Especially, how easy or difficult it may be for you to terminate the contract or working together.
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