The best choice of a real estate professional for you may have less experience and is not necessarily the one related to you. The perfect Realtor for you is not afraid to tell you the truth (even when you don’t want to hear it) and helps point out the benefits as well as the flaws of intriguing houses.
Here’s how I think you should pick the dream real estate agent for you when you’re purchasing a house with 0 sqft of living space:
- Check out Realtor referrals. — I like Angie’s List because I know that Angie’s List voice verifies each review. You can also see if the agent or brokerage has any awards for client satisfaction.
- Take a minute to talk to a couple of real estate pros — Take a moment to discuss with me on the phone. If I can’t help you, I can point you toward a real estate professional who is more suited to your needs. I once saw a statistic that 84% of buyers in Northern Virginia choose the first licensed real estate adviser they contact. This means one of two things. Either most people are choosing wisely the first time, or they’re just rushing into things without studying the choices. Probably a little of both.
- There should be a certain chemistry between you and your licensed real estate adviser. — Interpersonal skills are as important as professional skills. You want a good listener and an agent this isn’t eager to the point of desperation.
- Ask the Realtor his/her process for finding homes. — When choosing a Realtor, ask how they find houses. Some Realtors have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s right for you, not what’s right for your Realtor. So make sure the Realtor is willing to search high and low to find the best choice of pied-a-terre for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- Read paperwork carefully. — The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all licensed agents to sign a representation agreement before showing properties or having material discussions about a specific residence. Be very wary of any agent that is not concerned about getting a representation agreement signed. Some representation agreements describe hidden administrative fees of $500 to $1000 that you must pay at closing. (Our does not.) This advice is heavily used for a reason.