You have decided to purchase a home. Congratulations!
The first thing you need to do is to hire a real estate agent. How do you hire the right real estate agent?
1. Ask for referrals
Do you have friends or family that have recently purchased a home? They will have great recommendations for you.
2. Stalk them online!
Yes, you read that right! Look up the recommendations on all the social channels. Are they habitual negative posters? We all have bad days, so one or two venting posts are ok, but every other post is a clue about that person's personality. Purchasing a home is stressful enough, you don't need someone negative on your side. What about the pictures? Do the images they post of themselves make you comfortable? Do you feel like this is someone you want representing you when you spend thousands of dollars? Do they have professional pages as well as their personal pages? This will let you know if they are running their business as a business or just winging it and spamming all their friends with their real estate posts.
Hopefully, now you will have a few agents that you would consider hiring. Here's what you do next:
4. Interview a few agents
Not all agents are created equally. You see, real estate agents are independent contractors, and they all run their businesses differently. Just because XYZ company has an excellent reputation, that doesn't mean that every agent in that company is great.
A. Ask the agent how long they have been in the business.
Everyone has to start somewhere. We get that. But, do you want someone cutting their teeth on the most significant purchase of your lifetime? The exception to this is if they are inexperienced, will they have a mentor working with them. If they have a seasoned agent working with them, that's great! Ask to interview that agent as well. At Town & Parish Realty, our rookie agents work hand in hand with either the Broker or another seasoned agent for until we feel like they are seasoned enough to fly on their own. We look at this as an internship.
B. Find out if the agent is involved in the community
This isn't just checking to see if your agent volunteers a lot. Agents that love their community are deeply immersed in the community. This will help you during and after the sale. They will have connections that some other agents don't have. Even after the purchase, they will be able to help you with local referrals and questions you may have. Ask if they have been through the Leadership program in the community you are interested in purchasing. The leadership program in Ascension Parish is a 9-month program with a community project at the end. It is a very in-depth program in which one learned at length about the community.
C. What is the average type of home that the agent sells?
If the agent specializes in foreclosures for investors, this won't help you trying to purchase a resale home from an individual. The process is entirely different. Also, think about the average price range. If you are looking to purchase your first home at the average sales price for the area, you may not feel entirely comfortable with an agent that specializes in luxury homes.
D. Ask how they will communicate with you
Agents should always adapt to the way you want to be communicated with. If you want to be texted and the agent doesn't like to text, you will quickly get frustrated. There are times that agents will need to communicate with you differently than you maybe would want but for the most part, it should be the way you are most comfortable with.
Hopefully, these things will help you find the perfect agent for your home buying experience. It should be a fun process even with all the stresses that purchasing a home brings.
If you would like to interview one of our agents just let us know. I am confident that we will exceed your expectations!