Top 7 Tips to Choosing your Realtor

By: Eric Bramlett

"Choosing a realtor can feel like an overwhelming process. You want to find someone who knows the market and does her job well, so you're likely to look for someone who is well-established in her career. At the same time, you want to find a realtor who is going to have the time to commit to helping you find the right home. So how do you find a realtor with that perfect balance between experience and the time to commit to you? Here are the top 7 tips to helping you choose that right realtor:

1. Make a checklist of your needs. There isn't one right realtor for everyone. Each person has different needs in terms of everything from the amount of explanation they want their realtor to provide them to their preferred methods of communication. Make a checklist of everything that you desire in a realtor and then rank that list in order of importance to you so you can be clear about what you are looking for.

2. Ask around. The number one way to get a realtor that you like is to go with the recommendations of those around you. If you have friends or family members who have worked with a realtor in your local area, don't hesitate to ask them for recommendations. Even your long-distance friends can be helpful in identifying the qualities in a realtor that are going to be important while making your selection.

3. Ask potential realtors about their experience. You want to know how long they've been working, not only in the field but also in the local area. If the realtor works for an agency, do your research regarding the history of the agency. If the realtor is independent, find out about their business practices. Also be sure to find out about their credentials and professional associations.

4. Ask potential realtors up front about their ability to commit to your needs at the current time. Although you'll be able to tell rather quickly if a realtor is too busy to take your needs seriously (because of the unreturned phone calls and late appointments), it often makes things easiest just to ask the question up front. In fact, realtors who really are busy sometimes make a point to make the time specifically for those clients (like you) who have expressed a concern about this up front.

5. Discuss the services that your realtor will be providing for you. Realtors all work at different levels of involvement with their clients and you want to find one who will be able to provide all that you need. A good realtor will have a standard plan in place for finding and showing your properties and assisting you in negotiating the sale so be sure to learn what this plan is.

6. Take your time in choosing a realtor. You probably want to hurry up and get that realtor so that you can hurry up and get your home but it pays to take the time to interview several realtors and to find the one that's right for you. Don't be in such a rush to choose a realtor that you pick the first one that you meet with.

7. Trust your gut. In the end, there is no better indicator of whether or not a realtor is right for you than your own best instincts. If you meet with someone and she just 'feels right', then she probably is. Trust yourself on this one.

With these seven tips in mind, you're well on your way to choosing a realtor. Now comes the hard part; choosing your home!"

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