When you look at property listings, it may seem like the price is pretty straightforward.…
Buying a home is a big decision, and it can be hard to know if you’re making the right one. Finding a home is so much easier with the right California real estate agent. But how exactly do you know if you’ve found just the right agent for you?
Let’s be honest: there are so many options out there that finding the right agent might feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Here’s what you should be thinking about while looking for an agent to help you buy your dream home.
1. Think About Chemistry
Chemistry with your real estate agent is key. You’ll be spending a lot of time together, and it’s important that you feel comfortable talking to them honestly about your needs and wants throughout the process of buying a home.
If you feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do, feel like the agent isn’t being honest or straightforward, or something else feels off or awkward, go with your gut—find another real estate agent.
2. Find Someone Who Does Real Estate Full Time
Find a California real estate agent who is in the market every single day, growing a business full-time. In a hot housing market like ours, an agent needs to know exactly what’s coming on the market and when, make it easy to show properties to you, and be ready to write an offer at the drop of a hat.
Someone who does real estate for fun or as a hobby likely doesn’t have the expertise or the network you need when buying a home. Ask the agent how long he or she has been working as a real estate agent and what connections he or she has in your desired area.
3. Find an Agent Who Understands Your Wants and Needs
In our market, homes are moving fast. That means you may have very little time to submit an offer. A good agent will take the time to learn what you need in a home and what you would like to have but isn’t absolutely necessary.
This ensures that you see only homes that fit your criteria, which not only saves you time but can also help prevent buyer’s remorse in a fast-moving market. A good agent will also make sure you stay within the budget you set (hint: a pre-approval is important for helping you figure out your budget beforehand—go here to get started)!
4. Find an Agent Who Communicates Well
Communication is almost as important as chemistry! A good agent will ask how you prefer to communicate, whether it’s text, phone call, or email, and then stick to that method.
In this hot market, good communication can be the difference between losing a home or winning it. Find someone who asks how you want to communicate and respects that.
5. Look for Honesty
Find a California real estate agent who’s honest about the challenges of buying in your chosen market. You want someone who can be realistic with you about what to expect. An agent who promises you the world only sets you up for disappointment later.
Also, look for an agent who talks about how he or she will mitigate the risks of a given market. The agent should use hard data from the market and talk about recent experiences navigating any challenges.
6. Check an Agent’s Online Presence
Check into your agent’s online presence. While considering an agent, look at Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Zillow reviews. You’ll also want to check out their website and social media presence. There’s so much info at your fingertips that it’s worth taking the time to check up on them and other buyers’ experiences.
You should also make sure the agent is licensed as a real estate agent by checking the California Department of Real Estate.
7. Evaluate an Agent’s Skill
Real estate agents have some very important skills, and they don’t all possess those skills equally. Don’t be afraid to ask an agent what sets them apart from their competition.
Ask about negotiating skills and what they are able to get for their buyers. Do they routinely get a certain percentage off? Are they great at negotiating seller concessions? Do they have a knack for winning the offer? These skills can save you some serious time and cash. How do those skills match up with your needs and wants for a home transaction?
8. Find an Agent Who Knows the Local Market
You need a California real estate agent who will guide you through all the nuances of your local market. Ask about basics stats, like average time on the market and sales price.
You should also ask about any unique trends in the local market that he or she might be able to provide insight on. Real estate is a very local business, and a local network is key for helping buyers find homes, especially in competitive markets. Agents have the earliest pulse on what’s coming onto the market and when, and sometimes, that’s how you end up with your dream home.
9. Ask for References
If you don’t have any references for the real estate agents you’re considering, it’s time to ask for some. Typically, they’ll be buyers in similar circumstances as you (and ideally, you’re working with an agent who works with buyers like you).
Call up the references and ask them to be honest about both upsides and any downsides of working with that real estate agent. Ask them what the agent did for them that made the transaction a good one. This is how you get the best idea of how an agent can help you.
If you need help finding a wonderful California real estate agent, reach out to us here or give us a call or shoot us a text at (916) 465-6639. We have a ton of connections and are here to help make the process of buying a home a smooth one.