Buying or selling a home is a pivotal and exciting life change, and while it certainly calls for celebration, that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges along the way. Working with a real estate professional can help you avoid some of those challenges.
If you're a first-time homebuyer or preparing to sell for the first time (or even if you’ve done this before), you probably have many questions about the process. The first step is finding a real estate agent.
Good Realtors are experts in their local market, so they can help you buy or sell a home quickly, and at the right price.
Here's what to keep in mind during the search for a good real estate agent:
Before you can hire an expert, you need to have a good understanding of what your goals are. Are you looking to sell your home quickly? Buy your first home in a new city? Looking for a new build? (You should get a realtor for a new construction, too.) Do you need a dual agent to help you do both? Clearly define your goals before starting your search.
→ Related: Do I need a realtor for a new construction?
Make a list of the qualities you’re looking for in a real estate agent.
Is frequent communication important to you? Communication is key to success throughout the entire real estate transaction (from listing to the home inspection to closing), and everyone has their own preferences. Whether you prefer texts or phone calls, good agents will keep you informed as they find new listings or receive interest in your property.
Do you want to work with a team, or one independent realtor? Some agents specialize in helping certain types of clients (like seniors looking to downsize or people selling during divorce). If you’re looking for a specific type of agent, make note of that, too.
→ Find out what questions to ask an agent when selling
There are a few ways you can search for a real estate agent that will meet your needs. Most people ask friends and family for recommendations, or search online. You can also call or visit a local brokerage.
Just make sure any potential agent is a Realtor, or someone licensed with the National Association of Realtors and held to their code of conduct.
Another way to find a trusted real estate agent is by working with Orchard. Our licensed agents have on average, eight years of local real estate experience — so not only are they experts, they’re your neighbors.
Once you’ve found a prospective real estate agent that seems like a good match, do your research to ensure you are happy with your choice. Here are a few things to consider when speaking to them:
→ Look out for these signs of a bad agent
When you’re happy with your choice, your real estate agent can get to work! They will ask you additional questions about your needs and use their local connections to find you properties or prospective buyers.
Find a local agent by narrowing your search to a specific area. If you’re searching online, be sure to include the name of the community, neighborhood, or city you live in — or the one you’re moving to (get tips about buying a home in a different state.) If you’re asking friends and family for recommendations, be clear that you want to work with a local expert.
Working with a local real estate agent is key to successfully selling or buying property at the right price, quickly. Local agents are experts in their market, so they know how to appeal to local buyers and sellers.
If you’re selling, your realtor can recommend the right home updates to make and will market your property to the specific buyer population in the area. If you’re buying, your agent may be able to show you properties before they even hit the market, thanks to their local network.
Regardless of whether you’re buying or selling, you want to work with a licensed, experienced agent who you trust. Most realtors have experience representing buyers and sellers, so you don’t need to adjust your search based on whether you're a homebuyer or homeowner. Just be sure to let them know what you’re looking for.
→ Learn more about listing agents vs selling agents
Choosing the right real estate agent will ensure you have a positive buying experience within the timeframe and budget you expect. Here are a few reasons why selecting the right real estate agent is important:
Great agents don’t only bring their real estate license to the table. They also come with years of negotiation experience, an understanding of contracts and mortgages, and local market expertise.
Good real estate agents will use their network to show you properties before they hit the market. Or, if you’re a seller, they will show your home to their network of agents to gain traction before the listing goes live. Great agents also have connections to contractors, stagers, and lenders to help you through the entire process.
A good seller’s agent uses their market expertise to price your home to sell, get attendance at the open house, and market your home to local buyers.
Conversely, a good buyer’s agent uses their expertise to help you make an attractive offer based on recent sales in the area.
The right realtor will remain committed to your priorities throughout the home buying or selling process. This means keeping your wishlist top of mind when searching for properties and helping you get the best offers.
Need help identifying top agents? At Orchard, our agents have years of experience and who have a strong track record of success in your neighborhood.
We also have additional services, like turning you into a cash-buyer, or helping to line up closing dates when you buy and sell a home at the same time. If you're a homeowner, we can help you sell your house for top dollar, and even help make suggested upgrades to maximize your profit. Choose Orchard and get started now.
Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.
We provide peace of mind that your home will sell, plus list your home on the market to maximize your earnings.
Use our home sale calculator to estimate your net proceeds.
Our Home Advisors are experienced local agents who know how to sell for top dollar and help win your dream home.
All Orchard Home Advisors are experienced agents who know your local market inside and out. Request a consult today.
Did you know cash offers are 4x more likely to be chosen by a seller? Let us help you make one on your next home.
Orchard’s home value estimates are 30% more accurate.
Orchard Home Loans shops the market to find your best rates.
A cash offer is 4x more likely to be chosen by a seller. Get qualified today.
Make a cash offer now, and Orchard will sell your old home after you move.
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