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Five Steps to Reeling in a Realtor

By: Heidi Wagg

In the present real estate world, realtors are a dime a dozen.

A busy market, however, gives buyers and sellers lots of choice. It’s just a matter of casting your line and landing a trophy.

When seeking the right agent for you, follow these five critical steps:

Step 1: Create a List
Realtors pop up everywhere—on benches, newsstands, for sale signs, and more—so starting a list should be easy.

Obtain additional contacts from your local real estate guide, through friends and family, and via online social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Step 2: Narrow Your Selection
Discard agents who do not meet certain criteria: flawless reputation, professional image and service in your area of interest. (Hint: Avoid dual agencies—representing sellers and buyers simultaneously.)

Perform an Internet search (most realtors have their own site) and check out the Homes or Real Estate section in your local paper where different realtors are featured.

You may even call agents directly for references—disregard realtors that fail to provide.

Better yet, get the rundown of a particular realtor from someone you know.

Step 3: Interview Potential Agents
Interview at least three agents. Here are a couple questions to start with:

  • How long have you been in the business? (If you’re selling a home, experienced realtors can swiftly put themselves in a buyer’s shoes. They know how much buyers are willing to pay extra for and what home staging techniques to consider.)
  • How familiar are you with the area? (Good agents keep a finger on the city’s pulse. They are familiar with the districts—schools, new business developments and property values—and know the sections of interest, growth and decline.)

Step 4: Assess Your Options
Critically examine each contender. Look for the following qualities: attentive, competent, earnest, intelligent, proven, driven, professional and friendly.

One realtor probably stands out.

Step 5: Reel-in Your Realtor
Up until now, you have used mostly logic to form an opinion. Now it is time to go with your gut!

Do you feel comfortable with this individual? Is there a connection? Would you trust him or her with your property and possessions? Are you convinced this person could make your real estate dream(s) come true?

When your intuition says “yes”, start reeling in!

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