Most people who use real estate agents think that was a good way to go. At least 78% of homebuyers report that their real estate company was helpful. Finding the right one may be a challenge.
- Talk to your friends and relatives. You have to know at least a few people who have bought homes where you live. The best way to get decent products and services is to get a personal referral. When you talk to your friends and family about what real estate company they used, ask how they found them and what they thought about working with them. You may not end up going with the same real estate service but getting some names can help get you started in the right direction.
- Ask to talk to current or former clients. When you call different real estate agents, ask if you can talk to people they have worked with over the past 12 months. You want to talk to people who were either really happy or really not happy with the service they got from the real estate company. It is better to talk to people who have been clients recently. The real estate market changes a lot and fluctuates all of the time. The people they helped ten years ago cannot tell you all that much about how the real estate company works.
- Look online. You can look at sites like Facebook and Yelp. If the real estate company you are talking to has testimonials on their website, verify them. These are way too easy to fake. If you look at Yelp or find Facebook groups devoted to promoting local businesses, be careful when you are looking at reviews that are left by anonymous users. It is much more likely that people will complain than compliment so a lot of bad reviews posted anonymously may indicate something other than bad service from the real estate company.
- Ask about the real estate company’s licenses. Different states have different rules and regulations that govern real estate companies. You should check with your state government to see what the requirements are and to make sure your real estate company has the proper licenses. You should ask the company but you should also verify everything that they tell you.
- Get a specialist. Doctors specialize. Layers specialize. You may not know it but real estate agents specialize, too. There are also a number of certifications they can get. If you are looking for a home, you want an agent who specializes in residential real estate. They will have the certificate for being a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). If you are looking for a home for seniors, you should talk to someone who has as credential to be a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES).
- Ask the real estate company if they have won any awards. State and local branches of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) often award local real estate agents, the “Realtor of the Year.” Awards like this show that they are effective at selling real estate. If you are deciding between two companies, go with the winner.
- Look for a real estate company with a long track record. You want to hire a real estate company that has been in business for a decent amount of time. If they have a good reputation and have been working in the community for a while, they will have the experience, expertise and contacts to make a difference for your deal.
- Check out area real estate listings. You should do some research into the area’s real estate market. This is a good thing to do when you are buying or selling a property. This will give you a sense of what properties that are similar to the one you are selling or what you want to buy are going for. It will give you a sense of what is out there and help you determine what real estate company would be the best for your and your situation.
Whether you are buying or selling a property, the right real estate company can make the process easier and less stressful. They can also help you get the best deal that you can.