How to Choose a Good Real Estate Agent

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Buying a home (Photo: @jodygjohnston via Twenty20)
Choosing the right real estate agent is a crucial component of buying or selling a home. Depending on their work quality, they can significantly increase your chances of selling your old property at its highest price or buying a new one at the lowest one possible. 

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

When choosing a real estate agent, you want to make sure to hire the right one, and for that, we have a few important tips to keep in mind. 

1. Get Referrals from Friends and Family

The first thing you should do is talk to the people you know. Some of your friends or family members might have already gone through this process and may have a trustworthy contact that they can share with you. This might not only save you a few steps but will most likely make you feel more confident about your decision since the recommendations come from people you already know and trust.   

2. Do Your Research

Nowadays, there are many ways to find realtors in your area via a couple of clicks, such as websites and social media platforms. Realtor.com might be one of the best options for this purpose. In it, you can look up realtors by zip code and look at things such as the number of properties they have sold, how many they’re selling at the moment, years of experience, their activity range, and the languages they speak. 
Make sure to look up your potential realtor on multiple platforms to gather and cross-reference as much information as possible. Pay special attention to the reviews previous clients have left. 

3. Don’t Settle Right Away

Many people make the mistake of settling for the first realtor they find, which can be a big mistake. Your realtor has to be the closest thing you can find to a perfect match. For this, you might want to make a list of the things you need and interview at least three realtors. Good questions to ask can be their years of experience, how many active clients they have now, what their specialty is, and how familiar they are with your particular neighborhood. This is the perfect opportunity to set expectations. 

4. Ask for Referrals and Certifications

As a last precaution before settling on a realtor, ask for certifications and referrals and make sure to check them. Keep in mind that different states have different requirements for becoming a licensed real estate agent. 
Personal references can also help you gain a lot of insight into their work ethic and commitment. Talking to past clients can also help put you at ease (or make you aware of possible concerns) before signing a contract. 

5. Read the Contract

Make sure to take a good look at the contract, especially its duration and the commission rate it specifies. Most real estate contracts have commission rates range between five and six percent. So make sure to pay attention to this before signing anything.