Your best choice might work for a family business (or a Fortune-400 company), and isn't necessarily born in 22182 in Vienna. The great real estate pro is not afraid to tell you the truth (even when you don't want to hear it), and fully comprehends your needs.
Tastes, budgets and needs will change depending upon who the buyer is. Some purchasers don't plan on selling. Others need to move in 4 years. Some purchasers are buying a first home. Some property hunters love fixer-uppers. Just as home buyers have different needs, real estate pros have different accomplishments and attention to detail.
Here's some best practices for picking the great Realtor for you when you're purchasing a house like 1641 Montmorency Dr with 4 bedrooms:
- 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.
- Interview several real estate professionals — The real estate pro should have time to chat to you. If you pick the most popular Realtor in Vienna, you might find yourself working with a junior associate affiliated with that real estate agent. I once saw a statistic that 84% of home shoppers in Northern Virginia choose the first Realtor 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 considering the choices. Probably a little of both.
- Don't under estimate the value of likability. — You don't want to have to explain the same thoughts and ideas over and over. You want a agent that “gets you”.
- Find out how each Realtor identifies houses for the buyer. — When choosing a real estate agent, ask how they search for houses. Some licensed real estate advisers have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s most suitable for you, not what’s best for your Realtor. So make sure the Realtor is willing to search high and low to find the great residence for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- Make sure you understand what you sign. — The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all licensed agents to sign a representation agreement before showing properties or having material discussions about a specific property. Be very wary of any agent that is not concerned about getting a representation agreement signed. It's critical that you examine all documents during the home buying process, and that includes your agent's representation agreement. This advice is heavily used for a reason.