If you are looking for a new home, there are many real estate professionals out there who will want to work with you. How do you select the right real estate agent to be on your team?
Real Estate Agent, Realtor, or Broker?
First, let’s clarify some of the terminology around real estate professionals, which can be confusing. A real estate agent is someone who acts as a guide or counselor in the process of buying or selling property. Real estate agents are required to have a license in the U.S. and are trained to handle the legal aspect of buying and selling property, including homes. Some agents specialize in either buying or selling, while other agents assist with both transactions.
A broker is also licensed and must have been a real estate agent prior to becoming a broker.
Legally, a real estate agent must be managed by a broker, who takes legal responsibility for the agent’s actions. A broker may manage a firm of real estate agents, work as a sole proprietor, or work under another broker.
A Realtor is a real estate agent or broker who is part of the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. NAR members pay dues and are held to a certain standard of ethics.
Although all real estate agents must be licensed to ensure a certain level of expertise, that doesn’t mean all agents are right for you. It’s important to find an agent who is the right fit for your situation.
A real estate agent will be guiding you through what may be the most significant financial transaction of your life. Some important qualities to look for in an agent are responsiveness,
knowledge of the local area and market, expertise and negotiation skills.
Referrals are a good source of information on whether a potential real estate agent has these qualities. It’s a good idea to ask people you know about real estate agents they’ve worked with in the past. Another resource is the Better Business Bureau ratings.
Looking at a potential agent’s listings is also a valuable way to see if they are a good fit for you. If most of their listings are different in location or type from what you are looking for, the chances are they aren’t the right agent for you.
Questions to Ask
It’s very important to meet an agent in person before you decide on whether you want to work with them. You can get a better sense of your compatibility with an agent in person.
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents has compiled a list of questions to ask a potential real estate agent.
I'm happy to answer these questions or any others you may have. Let's grab coffee or meet up at my office. Feel free to email me here or call or text me at 540 246-9067.
2/18/2020 11:29:46 am
You made a good point about making sure the agent is familiar with the area you plan to move to. My wife and I have been thinking of buying our first home, and we need to hire a real estate agent We will be sure to follow the questions and make sure we hire an experienced agent.
2/18/2020 11:59:28 am
Hi Ron, thanks for the comment. What area are you looking in? I’d be happy to chat with you about the process is more detail.
Thanks for the article, I believe in the United States, real estate agents are required to have a license and are trained to handle the legal aspects of buying and selling property, including homes. Some agents specialize in either buying or selling, while others assist with both.
5/12/2022 01:03:32 pm
You made an interesting point when you explained that it is a good idea to find a real estate agent that has references from other buyers. When you are looking at references, I think it would be a good idea to pay attention to how the real estate agent communicates. You would want to find a real estate agent that will stay in constant contact with you.
6/2/2022 02:42:08 pm
I appreciate that this post pointed out that the more years a real estate agent accumulates under his or her belt, the more skilled and knowledgeable they are. My sister has said that she would like to be a real estate agent. I will definitely encourage her to start by ensuring she is licensed.
6/27/2022 09:38:58 pm
I like your real estate tips. I need to buy a new house. I'll have to talk to an agent to know my options.
7/8/2022 10:45:20 am
I want to get a new home, but I'm not sure how to choose one. It makes sense that I would want to find a real estate agent that has a lot of experience with the neighborhood I'm looking at. Finding referrals would be a good way to ensure that I do that properly.
7/11/2022 01:19:50 am
Questions about documentation and other kinds of paperwork really do seem important to ask. These are the kinds of things that usually fly over my head whenever I talk about the home buying process, so having someone handle them for me feels very important. As soon as I find a real estate agent I can work with, I'll make sure I inquire about this with them.
It really helped me when you talked about how real estate agents would have licenses and have undergone training programs to ensure that they understand the legal aspect of the processes. I plan to hire their services when I have enough money for a home's downpaymet. And I think I would really need their expertise to ensure that the outcome of my purchase would be worth it and has no issues, especially in the legal aspect.
9/29/2022 06:17:32 pm
My older brother and his wife want to hire a real estate professional to help them find the perfect home. I agree that you should find out how long a real estate agent has had their license. In addition to that, I think it would be helpful for my brother and sister-in-law to check the reviews of potential real estate experts.
11/10/2022 08:06:17 pm
Thanks so much for explaining the different professions and also for the list of questions to ask. My sister and her husband are wanting to find a house they can raise a family in. They've been looking into finding a great real estate agent they can work with to help them find their perfect home.
3/13/2023 02:03:18 pm
Thanks so much for the advice to find a realtor who is knowledgeable about the local market and has great negotiation skills. My sister and her husband have been looking for a new home and they've been having trouble navigating the market. We'll have to look into finding a realtor to help them find their perfect place.
4/11/2023 07:28:42 am
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4/27/2023 11:44:50 am
It's important to understand the differences between a real estate agent, broker, and Realtor when looking for someone to guide you through buying or selling property. While all real estate agents must be licensed, not all may be the right fit for you. Look for qualities such as responsiveness, local knowledge, expertise, and negotiation skills when selecting an agent. Referrals and checking the agent's listings can also help determine if they are a good fit.
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