Your Agent should conduct all the due diligence prior to making an offer. Sometimes I even put in a blind bid and conduct the Due Dil after the offer has been submitted. Just be sure that your agent is a tactical agent and not a "showing agent" Never attend an open house without your Agent as some suggest. If your agent doesn't make sure your paperwork is in order prior to presenting an offer, get another agent! The market here in Astoria, LIC, Sunnyside,Woodside, & Jackson Heights moves at the transaction rate of 500-600 units contracted a month! So just realize that you will often see a unit on a Friday morning, do a huddle lunch with your agent, and go to process an offer only to find out that the unit has an accepted offer already. If someone tries to force a 50K parking spot into your deal, Run! Only buy a parking spot in a unit after checking the rental rate in the hood!
I am an agent in the Port Washington area and have been in the business for over 20 years. I recommend you select an agent based on their experience and results. Port Washington is not far from Queens and though I would not be able to help you in that area I would be happy to recommend a top producting agent that knows your area well. Feel free to call me or email me. I can be reached at 516 244-5314 cell and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask friends and co-workers for a referral to an agent.
Interview more than one REALTOR, it is OK and recommended that since you are new to homebuying you ask questions and feel comfortable with the agent.
Many of us have clients we have worked with for years and multiple transactions and many of these clients have become friends. It can be a lifelong relationship so you should have trust in the agent you pick.
John L Scott Real Estate ~ Ocean Shores, WA.
While I am sure you can find some good ones doing open houses, I think you're best bet is to get a referral - preferably from someone close to you... hopefully some one you know has used an agent they like a lot. If not, then you'll have to do the screening on your own. Each agent has different strengths and weaknesses, and each client will need different things from an agent, so it is hard to know what should be most important. Despite individual differences, you want to make sure anyone you hire will have your best interest at heart and be willing to do whatever it takes to make your life easier and to protect you throughout the process. Don't chose out of convenience - all agents are not created equal, and buying in today's market can be tough. You want someone that really connects with you.
I don't know NY well, but I have had extensive contacts with an agent (Victoria) out of a local Keller Williams office. I think she works in Queens County, and I would recommend her. If that is not an area where she works, it's close and she'd know who to put you in touch with. If you can't get a recommendation from someone you know well, email me email@example.com and I will try to connect you.
Best of luck... and congratulations!
Our recommendation is to begin going to open houses for two reasons, to begin collecting information about the housing market in your location and to meet real estate professionals.
There is no better arena than seeing agents in the "trenches" interacting with customers. A possible ice breaking question is: Aside from this home, your own listings, and the listings of your agency, what is the best real estate opportunity you know of?
Check these websites:
http://www.craigslist.org (goto real estate for sale queens)
http://www.trulia.com (right here!)
You might be able to save some money by going directly to an individual selling as you have more negotiation room (no realtor fee) but the transaction may not go as smooth.
Dont forget to find a lawyer and home inspector before you start shopping around.
Also, don't forget to look at the foreclosure / shortsale market as you might be able to save some money on your purchase.
If you need recommendations for lawyers, inspectors or if you want to hear more about foreclosures / shortsales, send me a note
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Walk into a few local real estate offices, and ask to speak an agent - get a sense of how comfortable you feel - find out how active they are in your area - ask for their personal profiles or webistes
2.Pay attention to the For sale signs in the neighborhoods you like - call or email, and interview those agents, or stop by an open house, and introduce yourself - see who stays on top of things
3.Google your area asking for real estate agents - see who pops up - email them - see what kind of responses you get - are they prompt? Also visitt the websites of the local RE offices.
4.Check out listings in your area here on Trulia, or on Realtor.com - see who the active agents are -
By now you will have compiled a list of names...to help whittle the list down.....see who you feel most comfortable with, and who was the most responsive to your needs and inquiries.
The bottom line is - don't be afraid to meet and , in a way, interview a few agents. I always say that finding the right agent is like going on a blind date - you need to have the right chemistry for it to work.
You should be looking for in an agent who has extensive knowledge of your area, is professional, and gives you confidence that they will work hard for you. Remember, this relationship will be like a short term marriage - there will be lots of interaction!!
By the way - maybe someone at work can recommend an agent, too..
I am sure you will find the right person - just do your homework!
Best luck to you in your search!
Although I can't help you personally, as I am not from your area - please feel free to email me if you have any additional questions, as I'd be happy to help.
All the best!