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How to Find a Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home is a significant financial decision. That is why it is critical to work with an experienced real estate agent. Many real estate agents compete through web ads, postcards, and yard signs, but selecting the right one can be difficult. Follow these steps to locate and hire the best real estate agent.

  1. Before engaging a realtor, consult with a lender.

Buyers sometimes may hire a realtor before speaking with a mortgage lender, but it is essential to consult with a lender first to see how much you can pay. Getting preapproved for a mortgage tells you how much you can borrow and allows you to discover potential concerns early on. This keeps you focused on properties within your price range and demonstrates your seriousness to potential Realtors (and sellers). In competitive markets, sellers will want a preapproval letter before considering your offer.


  1. Obtain network referrals.

Request recommendations from friends and family for a reliable real estate agent. You want someone who has experience working with clients like yours. First-time buyers, for example, have different requirements than repeat buyers or homeowners looking to downsize.


  1. Interview three real estate agents

An interview provides you with information about the agent’s personality and experience. Finally, you want a Realtor familiar with the area and understands your budget and goals. Interviews also indicate the agent’s preferred mode of communication and their availability.


  1. Request and verify references

Request recent listings, sales data, and contact information for recent clients. Call those clients and inquire about their experiences and the agent’s assistance throughout the process, including the negotiations. Inquire if they would utilize that agency again in the future.



  1. Carefully read your contract.

All agreed-upon terms, including the real estate commission, should be included in your contract. Traditionally, the seller pays 6% of the sale price of real estate commissions, half to their agency and half to the buyer’s agent. According to HomeLight, the average commission is somewhat less than 6%. Another factor to consider is the term of the contract. Look for a six-month or less contract. According to the NAR, selling a home in a seller’s market can take less than 30 days. If you extend your contract and you haven’t sold your home, you’ll want to be free to switch agents. Similarly, if you haven’t found your dream home in a few months, don’t give up hope.