So you are ready to start thinking about purchasing a home. Exciting! But wait, how will you get to see the homes that you are interested in? Who will write the contract for you? Who will help you with negotiations and repair requests?
A Buyer’s Agent
Your fantastic buyer’s agent will! What is a buyer’s agent, you ask? A buyer’s agent is a licensed real estate agent that will represent you and only you. Not you and the seller. (That’s a dual agent and we will talk about that later)
How Do I Find A Buyer’s Agent?
Great question! Chances are you probably know a handful of real estate agents in the Greater Baton Rouge already. Start there. These are people you know, like, and trust already. If you don’t know one already, do a quick google search. (example: prairieville real estate agent) Check out their reviews on their Google business page. Or ask a few close friends who have recently purchased a home.
Interview A Few Buyer’s Agents
After you have a few referrals or have set your sights on a couple based on their online presence set up interviews with them. The right buyer’s agent will LOVE to meet you in their office to have a consult with them. Come prepared to answer a lot of questions because a great buyer’s agent will have a lot of detailed questions to ask you. Taking the time to converse with them will help them be able to help you in the long run. Come prepared to ask a lot of questions as well. Asking questions will let you know if this agent is the right one for you. Remember, this is an Interview!
What Do I Look For?
Here are a few things you should look for when interviewing to hire a Greater Baton Rouge buyer’s agent.
Patience – You are buying a home, not a new pair of shoes. This is not a fast process. The agent should want to take the time to listen to your concerns and answer every question you may have. If you feel rushed during the consultation process, imagine what the rest of the transaction will feel like.
Excellent Inter-personal skills – You will be spending a lot of time communicating with your agent over the next few weeks or months. Do you feel like they are listening to you now? How about ways of communicating? Will they interact with you in a way that is comfortable for you? Do you like to text or email or voice talk? Now, understand this… Voice communication will be necessary during some points, so don’t scratch that option entirely.
Flexibility – Do you have a job that requires shift work or odd working hours? Make sure your agent will be flexible to work and communicate with you during your off times. Here in Ascension Parish, we have a lot of plant workers. Sometimes they need us to be available at 5 am to discuss things. Make sure your agent is flexible and can accommodate you for the most part.
Organized – When you start the home buying process, many parts will start moving, and your agent needs to be on top of each of those moving parts. Did the agent come to the meeting organized and ready to meet with you, or did they come with a stack of messy papers and had to shuffle through them? First impressions count!
Length of time in the business – Again, you aren’t buying a pair of shoes. You will most likely be making the largest purchase of your lifetime. You want someone who has been around the block or two on your side. We don’t hate on newer agents. They are hungry and want to work! If you take a liking to a newer agent, ask them if they have a mentor in their office. At Town & Parish Realty, our rookies mentor with a seasoned agent for many of their first transactions to ensure that their client is getting the best service they can receive.
Energetic and Self Motivated – This is so important! You want an agent that will take the initiative and think outside the box when needed. You certainly don’t want to be the first one making contact every time you need something. An energetic and self-motivated agent will always be striving to be one step ahead of you and thinking of a new way to do something if a problem arises.
Industry Savvy – Is your agent involved in the industry? How does this help you? An agent that is involved in their industry is always wanting the industry to be better. Anyone wanting to make their Industry better will also want their service to be top notch. Also, by being involved, they have some great connections. What you are looking for may be the proverbial unicorn. An industry savvy agent knows who to connect with to help find your unicorn!
Local Expert – In the Greater Baton Rouge area, we have very different areas of town. Baton Rouge is completely different from Prairieville which is completely different from St. Amant. Even the areas within Baton Rouge are completely different. Ask your agent where most of their business is? Have they lived in the areas you are interested in? Knowing the nuances of different areas is key when negotiating!
Integrity – You can tell if the agent has this right from the start. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. This may be the most important quality you are looking for. When an agent has Integrity, everything else falls into place.
If you are looking for a local buyer’s agent to help you, let us know. We have well-trained agents we can partner you with to make your home buying experience the best you can imagine!