Buying and selling real estate is a truly worthwhile investment—one that is made easier when partnered with the knowledge and experience of a real estate agent. From commercial property ventures to buying your very first home, there are local agents with the expertise to help you negotiate and close on a great purchase. Many agents, however, specialize in very specific areas of real estate and finding the right one for you and your property goals can be challenging. To help you on your path to real estate success, we’ve outlined our best practices on how to find a local real estate agent who is the perfect match for your next investment.
Qualities to Look For in a Real Estate Agent
Before you begin your search, it helps to understand what exactly you need from your real estate agent. This applies to both your property investment goals and the values and practices you hope to uphold in your next purchase or home sale.
For example, if you are ready to buy that luxury home in your favorite high-end neighborhood, finding a local agent with experience both buying and selling luxury homes in that neighborhood will be an incredible advantage. That hyper-local expertise, however, isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing an agent.
Your real estate agent is your representative in your home purchase or sale. Just like you would look for specific qualities in a business partner, it is important to know that your real estate agent is someone you can trust to represent you and your interests.
In an interview with fourteen members of the Forbes Real Estate Council, agents shared the different qualities that they recommend people consider when looking for the right broker for their real estate opportunity. Their advice? Find an agent you can trust, who has your best interests at heart, can mitigate risk, has a clear track record, and who is passionate about the market you wish to enter. Other agents cited core values, honesty, and negotiation techniques as important qualities to consider when looking for an agent.
Once you have identified the most important qualities in an agent—from personal values to market expertise—it’s time to start your search.
Online and Offline Research
Research is the first tool in your arsenal when finding a real estate agent. A simple Google search is likely to bring up a long list of agents and brokerages in your area. By specifying the type of real estate that interests you, it is possible to fine-tune your search and hone in on the agents who know that area of real estate.
Research both online and in local papers, magazines, and notice boards is one step you may have to return to again and again. As new agents are added to your list, it will benefit you to research their real estate experience, track record, and what other customers are saying about them.
In fact, as you go through the process of identifying and researching local agents, be sure to ask a lot of questions. What is their area of expertise? What do others say about working with them? How long have they been an agent? How well do they know the area (city, county, or neighborhood) where you wish to purchase or sell?
Keeping these questions at the forefront of your mind while you research will help you narrow down your search to only the most qualified agents.
Pay Attention to Local Ads
Real estate advertisements are everywhere, and now that you are on the search for an agent, you’re likely to start noticing them more than ever. From billboards on the side of the road to local TV commercials, the ads and information about local real estate agents are abundant. You may even notice real estate ads at your local movie theater if you happen to be there before the start of the previews.
If starting your search with research feels overwhelming, then we recommend paying attention to the various local spots where agents are advertised. From there, you can make a list of the local brokerages and individual agents and go back to your search engine to discover more about each agent.
Visit Open Houses
For those of us who prefer to do our research face-to-face, one great way to look for agents is by visiting open houses. Agents abound at open houses, both the listing agent—who is running the open house—and buyer’s agents who are there on behalf of clients.
An open house in your desired neighborhood can be particularly beneficial as you are likely to meet multiple real estate agents who have experience buying and selling in that neighborhood. As you look for open houses to visit, make sure to have your list of questions on hand so you can utilize the opportunity to get to know the agents and narrow your list of potential candidates.
Ask for Referrals
In today’s digital world, word of mouth is still an effective tool for finding a great product, restaurant, venue, and in this case, a great real estate agent. Friends and family who have bought or sold houses in the area will be more than happy to give you a referral for their agent.
Getting referrals can be challenging if you are relocating to a new city or state. If you don’t have friends or family in the area who can give a referral, consider asking your new co-workers or business partners. Those who had a positive experience will be more likely to refer you to their real estate agent the moment they find out you are interested in buying a new home.
Cutting-edge Online Platforms
When it comes to finding the perfect agent, the above steps take a huge investment of time and energy. But what if the process could be simplified?
Much like the tools offered by ProspectNow provide the perfect solution for discovering which properties are available for purchase—or even better, which ones are likely to sell—the matching technology of LemonBrew identifies which agents carry the knowledge and expertise that will help you close your next real estate deal.
Cutting-edge analytics reduces the time it takes to find the most qualified agent and get started locating your perfect home. The process is simple: basic questions help LemonBrew understand your real estate goals, location, and financing and the matching technology does the rest. Rather than spending hours researching local agents, you get matched with agents who fit the exact criteria you’re looking for. After interviewing a few of your favorite candidates, you choose the most qualified for the job. As a bonus, once you find the perfect home, you receive a rebate that goes toward closing costs.
LemonBrew is a leading real estate platform that matches home buyers and sellers with passionate and attentive real estate agents while matching agents with exclusive and qualified leads. Simplify your real estate process by using a LemonBrew agent who has the hyper-local expertise you’re looking for.