The first rule of choosing an agent when buying a new home is to use an agent that is an expert on the neighborhood in which you are interested in buying.
What makes our agents experts is their knowledge of current and past trends on the sale and purchase of all different types of homes in a given community (e.g. Plano townhomes, Dallas single-family homes, Fort Worth condos, etc.), in addition to knowing all the local facts relevant to your home selection. That means they are aware of community information, schools, taxes, how to check about local crime and happenings.
They also have knowledge of the home market in the community. What is the typical sales price for a home? How much does the type of home you are looking for typically cost? Our Agents will be able to give you a breakdown of homes in your price range and where they are located.
The key to an expert agent being able to serve you well is his or her communications skills. They will do a lot of listening and ask a few key questions. An effective agent needs to understand your current financial situation and your needs for purchasing a home. Cyndi Garrett is also a licensed Mortgage Consultant and has 8 years as a loan officer.
It is important to remember that good communication is a two-way street. You need to be open and honest with your Realtor to save both of you, time and effort. If you aren’t looking to buy for an extended period of time (3 months or longer), be upfront about that. Also be upfront about your financial situation. If you are a first-time home buyer and can only get 3% down for a home, let your agent know. You will be surprised at how innovative an agent can be in helping you find solutions to your problems.
The final criteria for an expert real estate agent is their ability to use technology to help you with your home search. An expert agent will be able to utilize electronic multiple listing services (MLS) to gather information on housing trends for you. They can advise you on how to best use our website to find all the information you need. They will be able to provide you with information on your options in a timely fashion.
A key piece to having an expert agent work for you is integrity. How honest is an agent in dealing with you?
So how do you determine if an agent is an expert, and how do you know if they are honest? It’s a good idea to ask friends or family members for recommendations of an agent.
Here are a few points we recommend you consider when making your choice:
- Is the agent an expert in the geographical area you are looking to buy?
- How long have they been in the real estate business and how long with their current company?
- Find out how many homes they have listed in the area in which you are seeking to buy and find out how long it took for each of those homes to sell and close.
- Ask for references of clients they have serviced in the last 6 months and then actually call those references (get at least three references). Ask those references how effective was the agent at servicing them. Would they use the agent again?
- The agent should also be able to produce a list of online and community resources to help you profile a community.
- Meet the agent in his or her office to see if you feel comfortable and ask them why you should have them represent you with your purchase. If you get any feelings that you aren’t comfortable with then choose another agent.