Real estate transactions tend to be either extremely stressful or very pleasurable experiences. Ask anyone and you will hear opposing views, based largely on the individual's experience with his or her real estate agent. Knowing how to find a good agent seems to be the determining factor in whether an individual will want to buy or sell another piece of property.
The best real estate agents are often not those who pepper their faces all over television and print advertisements. The most effective professionals listen to their clients and work ethically and diligently to achieve the desired results. They have a strong knowledge of local market conditions, property inventory, and the latest relevant legislation. Look at the listing signs in the area to identify whose names are on the listings that sell quickly. These professionals get results and they may be more effective than an agent who has a large volume of listings but is not doing anything with them.
Many people are not aware that there is a difference between a Realtor® and a real estate agent. Less than 50 percent of all agents have joined the National Association of Realtors and thus may call themselves a Realtor®. The association has a Code of Ethics that Realtors® must promise to follow. This Code stipulates standards of conduct that exceed current legal requirements. If this factor is important to you, verify whether the agents under consideration are Realtors®.
Agents rely on referrals from satisfied former clients in order to be successful. Ask co-workers, friends, family members, neighbors, mortgage brokers, and other agents who do not specialize in your services for the name of a reputable agent with whom they have dealt. Also, mention the names of some agents you are considering, to make sure that acquaintances have not heard anything bad about their performance. A happy client or associate will not hesitate to recommend an agent that exceeded service expectations.
Another way to find a good agent is to look online at the profiles of those employed by the top real estate companies in the area. Attend an open house being held by these agents, interact with them, and get their business cards. If you plan to sell, take notes regarding the agent's knowledge, use of promotional materials, and level of interactivity during the open house.
Knowing how to find a good agent in an efficient manner will make the home buying or selling process transpire much more quickly and much less painfully. Ask acquaintances for referrals to a real estate agent or Realtor®, look at neighborhood signs, and conduct an online search to find the profiles of agents with the top local real estate agencies. Then attend an open house and see how the agent interacts with potential buyers. This will yield valuable information and the best agent will rise to the top of the list.