Although so much of your research for buying a home can be done online, there’s no replacement for a real estate agent. The right one will help you make a smart decision, point out potential problems in a house you may be considering, and help you find the best home within your price range. However, there are many people out there who are selling real estate. But simply having a real estate license doesn’t make anyone a great real estate agent.
The best way to find an exceptionally good agent is to get a recommendation from friends and family. If there’s someone who has already worked with someone you know, and that person was happy with the relationship, chances are you will be too. Look at the “for sale” signs on the lawns of homes in neighborhoods you’re considering. Does one name keep coming up? You might want to check out that person.
Some real estate agents are part-timers, while others view selling homes as their career. Since the credit union will most likely be your best option for financing the home, check with your loan officer if there’s a particular agent who stands out in his mind as a good one. Your loan officer and real estate agent will be working together to ensure a smooth closing, so getting a referral to someone your loan officer has already worked with is a good idea.
If you want to take it even further, check out any prospective agents on the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials website to see if they’re truly licensed, are keeping up with continuing education, and have had no complaints filed against them.
Before talking to an agent, it’s a good idea to sit down and get an estimate of prices and what you’re in the market for. Do you know your pre-approval amount for a home loan? Many real estate agents like to know up front if you’ve been pre-approved, and for how much, so that they can find the best home options for you. Our pre-approval process is fairly quick, and we can get you started right over the phone–just call us at 201-659-3900 to find out more.
While buying a home, especially your first, can be exciting, working with the right real estate agent will make your experience a positive one. Take the time to find a good one. And happy house-hunting!