Finding the right REALTOR

Perhaps nothing is more important when buying or selling a home than finding the right REALTOR® to help guide you through the process. A good REALTOR® should have a thorough understanding of your local housing market and be able to serve as both your business partner and advisor through every step of the transaction. The following tips can help you find the best person for your needs:

List your priorities
Start by making a list of the most important things you are looking for. For example, if you are selling your home, you will no doubt want to find someone with a successful track record of selling homes in your area. If you are looking to buy a home, you may want a home in a specific region, within a certain price range or close to particular amenities such as schools and public transportation.

Look for a professional
It’s wise to look for someone who is a professional REALTOR®. This designation means they are a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and must follow the organization’s strict code of conduct. Not all licensed real estate agents are professional REALTORS®.

Get personal referrals
Asking friends and family members for personal referrals can be a good place to begin. But remember, you want to establish a professional business relationship with this person. Unless your best friend’s sister truly has the experience you’re looking for, you may be better off with someone else.

Check your local paper
By checking the listings in your local paper, you can see which REALTORS® have homes for sale on a regular basis. You can also keep up to date on your local real estate market so you’ll have a better grasp of what a realistic price range might be for a particular type of property.

Attend open houses
Visiting open houses is another great way to get a feel for what’s available on the market or to determine how much you’re likely to be able to get for your own property. But remember, the agent on duty who hands you his or her card is representing the seller of that property. If you’re interested in making an offer, you may want to go through your own independent buying agent. However, if you have a similar home you want to sell in the same neighborhood, this person may be a good contact to hang onto.

Search online
There’s no better way to locate a REALTOR® than by searching online. But not all online resources are the same. 

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