Buying and selling your house can be overwhelming, especially in a hot market. There are hundreds and possibly thousands of Real estate agents in your area. How do you choose the right person for you? There are many online options, but leaving the largest financial decision of your life to a DIY doesn’t seem like a sound choice. And a bad experience isn’t just frustrating but will lead to lost time and money out of your pocket.

Your best option is to talk to your local financial institution before making a decision. Once you’re clear on your options, ask for references. Your lender will likely have experience (good and bad) with many realtors in the area, as will other people in your network. You should interview several people and choose the right fit. A good agent may not necessarily be the right agent for your particular needs. Lastly, talk to them about your contract. What’s their commission rate? What is the contract deadline? There are several key factors that should go into making your final choice.

FINDING THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT FOR YOU

TALK TO YOUR NETWORK

Start with your local lender. You trust them with your money. Let them lead the way into your next financial decision. Are there some agents who are harder to work with than others? Is there a company they deal with on a regular basis? Is there someone they’d recommend for your particular situation?

Next, go to the people you trust most: your social network.  Whose opinions and experiences would you trust? Who is most likely to look for the same qualities in an agent? Has someone recently bought or sold their home? Reach out to them and ask questions. People love to feel like experts, and most would be happy to share their wisdom over a free cup of coffee.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT FIT

Does the agent specialize in your type of home? Do they know the area you’re searching in? Does their personality mesh with yours, or will it feel like a chore to reach out to them? All of these factors are important when choosing someone who will be a large part of your life for the next few months.

Once you’ve narrowed it down, the most important question to ask is: can I trust you? You’ve done your due diligence and covered all your bases. You found someone who knows your market and is willing to work on your terms. You’ve checked their references and done the research (you even loved the cookies they served in their lobby). This is your guy – or gal – who will find your new home. They’re experienced and knowledgeable, but most importantly, are they trustworthy?

REVIEW YOUR CONTRACT

Your agent should be willing to go over and explain your contract. If there’s anything you don’t understand, it’s best to get a second opinion. At this price range, nothing should be left to chance. Your contract should clearly spell out everything you and your agent have already agreed upon.

Are you getting a favorable commission rate? Does the contract length suit your timeline? What are the conditions under which the contract can be terminated? Are there contingencies that must be met before the sale can go through?

You scour reviews and research 10 different models before you buy a toaster oven. But when it comes to a large purchase such as home buying, the options are overwhelming. We live in a modern age where everything is available at our fingertips. The answers are out there. Take your time and ask your real estate agent about the things you’re unsure about. The last thing you want to do is fumble the biggest purchase of your life.

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