4 Tips for Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent for YOU

By Jeremy DeLay, Tulsa Home + Design Realty

Choosing a Real Estate agent can be a little scary. You’re choosing someone to find you a home that you and your family will create a life in, and you’re trusting them to have your best interests and work to get you the best deal possible. With so many Realtors and brokerages out there, it can be hard to even know where to start looking for an agent, let alone actually choosing one. And when you’re searching, how do you even know what to look for? Do you base it off of Google reviews and Instagram followers? The experiences your friends and family have had with different Realtors? It’s a lot to take in and consider, and the purpose of this article is to provide you with a few tips as you set out to find a Real Estate agent and start the home buying journey. The 4 tips are:

  1. Choose the person, not the image
  2. Do your research and know what you want and need
  3. Clearly Communicate Expectations on the Front End
  4. Look for referrals

Google reviews and social media followers can tell you a lot about a business or a person, but they can’t tell you everything. There are agents in every market whose faces and signs you see everywhere you look. And those people usually have quite a following online. I’m not at all suggesting here that those people are not great agents or clearly successful in their roles. The thing I want to point out here is that just because those agents are “everywhere” and obviously have mass appeal, that doesn’t automatically mean that they will be the right fit for YOU. You have to remember that when you work with a Realtor to buy or sell a home, there is a period of time where you will be communicating with them a lot. On top of just a lot of communication is what you’re communicating. You’ll be sharing personal details and information about your life and family with this person as well. You want to make sure that the person you choose to be your Realtor is someone you feel comfortable sharing this with.

The next point may seem obvious, but I think it’s often overlooked. Before selecting a Realtor, do some research on the Real Estate process as a whole so that you know what you’re getting into. If you can know on the front end some of what’s involved in the process it will help you understand what you want and need from a Realtor. Do you want someone who is very hands-on and is directing you every step of the way, or would you prefer someone who sits back and lets you guide the process? Are you hoping for an agent who is constantly sending you new houses to look at and booking showings and open houses, or would you rather approach things more conservatively as you move forward? These are important questions to ask yourself as you think about the person you want working with you to buy or sell your home.

The third tip really goes hand in hand with the second, and that is to clearly communicate your expectations with your real estate agent on the front end. Some of the questions above about what type of activity you expect from your Realtor and how frequently you want to communicate with them are so important to establish upfront so that you are both on the same page. This will save everyone involved frustrations down the road. Beyond communicating those important expectations, it’s also important to communicate some of the more obvious things involved in this process, like what type of house you want to find and where, and importantly, how much you can afford. If you communicate that to a prospective agent and don’t feel comfortable with their response, that may be a good sign that they aren’t the right fit for you.

The last tip here is to look to friends and family for referrals. Who do you know that’s bought or sold a house in the past couple of years, and what were their experiences? There’s nothing like learning from someone else’s personal experience and being able to work with someone who’s already trusted by people that you know and trust. Use your personal network and ask around for people’s input, not only about specific agents, but also the brokerage they work with and what the process was like for them as a whole.

Choosing to work with anyone on one of life’s major purchasing decisions is a big deal, and can seem overwhelming. There are lots of things that make a “good Realtor,” but none of that is important if that Realtor isn’t the right person for YOU! If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, set aside some time to do your research, and think through what’s important to you, how you can communicate that, and who you might know that’s recently been in the market, and what experiences they may have had.

*At Tulsa Home + Design, we work with clients at every step of their home-buying and owning journey to help them find and create spaces to live and grow. Call us today. www.tulsahomeanddesign.com

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