Monday, September 14, 2009

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home

Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions most people make, yet many give little thought to finding the real estate agent best suited to their needs. The process of purchasing a new home is much more involved than simply cruising open houses, “for sale” ads, or have someone simple unlock doors for you. Buying real estate can quite be complicated so it is essential to have the right professionals on your side. With so much at stake, working with a skilled real estate agent can help ensure that you find the right property for you at the right price.

So how do you choose the right real estate agent for you? Here are a few helpful hints:

  1. Interview potential Realtors from different agencies and consider their qualifications. How competent are they? How compatible are you together? There’s no underestimating the importance of both when choosing a real estate agent.

  2. Do they know the neighborhood? Is the agent familiar with the housing market and values in the cities and communities you’re looking to buy in? Agents with a history of transactions in neighborhoods that interest you will know what’s available and in what price range.

  3. Keep in mind when choosing a real estate agent that he or she has access to a powerful tool -- the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the inventory of all active, pending and sold homes by region. A skilled agent can use the MLS, plus their own experience, to locate homes in neighborhoods matching your property wish list -- such as a certain school system, ample shopping and dinning or convinient access to your place of employment.

  4. What level of customer care will you receive? A real estate agent is your business partner in a huge financial undertaking, so you’ll want to choose a real estate agent who is always ready, willing and available. Be sure that communication stays open and phone calls are returned.

Choosing the right Realtor for you can be one of the most important steps in the home buying process. Start your home search by ensuring that you have the best real estate representation for your needs. A good agent will keep your best interests in mind throughout the process, making the home search a smooth and enjoyable experience.

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