Real Estate 101: How to Find your Realtor

By: Kinan Beck

"Buying a new home, especially if it's your first home, is not an easy thing to do. There's new terminology to learn, an entire process to follow and a large number of decisions to make. That's why almost everyone who buys a home works with professionals in the field to make sure that they get a good deal on a good home without too much of a headache. The most important person in the team of professionals that you'll want as a home buyer is your realtor. But how do you go about finding a good realtor?

Here are some of the top ways that successful home buyers find good realtors:

1) Word-of-mouth. Often, the best way to get a good realtor is to start asking everyone you know if they know of a good realtor. You've probably gotten other professional help this way (everyone's always asking if you know of a good dentist, right?) Of course, you shouldn't just jump into bed with the first realtor who gets referred to you - your Aunt Sally's blind elderly neighbor that talks to his cat might come with her referral but he might not be able to meet your home buying needs. But good word-of-mouth referrals are a great starting point for finding a good realtor.

2) Look at the ads in real estate magazines. A picture is worth a thousand words right? If someone is invested enough to get a good professional picture and take the time to advertise in key locations, he probably cares a lot about his real estate business. And that means he's got a good chance of being a dedicated realtor. It doesn't hurt to search the ads to see who is out there and to make an appointment to meet with some people.

3) Make use of your search engine. You can do a whole lot of research into local realtors by typing your information request into your search engine. Review some realtor websites and look for positive reviews of realtors in your area to help you find a good realtor.

4) Put together a list of interview questions and don't be afraid to interview a number of different realtors until you find the one that you want to work with. Yes, you might be seen as a pesky client but if a realtor wants your business, she's going to work hard to get it which means she'll fully answer the questions that you have. Things you'll want to know include the length of time she's been in business, how well she knows the area that you're interested in buying a home in and what she's going to do to help you understand the home buying process.

If you find a good realtor, the rest of the home buying process should go relatively smoothly. Yes, you'll still have decisions to make but you'll have a professional real estate agent there to help you with those decisions. And you'll be able to rest easy knowing that the hard part is over. Well, at least until it's time to start moving in!"

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