Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:
Why did you become a real estate agent?
Why should I work with you?
What do you do better than other real estate agents?
What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?
Keller williams Jacksonville Realty
Something this important you do not want to go alone. A professional real estate agent can be very valuable in preventing costly mistakes a first time home buyer may not be aware of. The buyer's agent can idenify properties that you want to see not just the ones listing agents want to show - then stream line the process by use of his / hers company's tools. The end results will be a happy and satisfied client.
Interview a few agents, making sure they specialize in the type property your looking for. There is a wealth of information here posted by the other agents .... all are important. Some of these ideas I feel would be very helpful are;
Must be a Full time realtor.
How much of their business is referrals and provide references.
Be comfortable and confident with the agent use select.
Good luck with your home buying experience.
I would ask how many homes the agent has listed and sold over the previous year. An agent can say "I have been a REALTOR for over 5 years." But in reality they have been working full time doing something else and only part time as a REALTOR. If they are full time and have only listed and or sold a handful of properties that should give you better picture of their experience.
I think I would want to know what level of education the individual has and how tech savvy the person is. If they have been in the business for 20 years but cant tell you what an ISP is than you may want to keep looking. Technology has grown tremendously in this business over the past few years and those who are not tech savvy are at a great disadvantage.
I hope this helps!!
The suggestions of the other posters are all good and things we would recommend as well. But there is one question that may help you get to the bottom of things. As a final question ask , " Why should we select you over the others we have interviewed to work with?"
The "Eckler Team"
1. Are you a full-time realtor?
2. How long have you worked in real estate?
3. What areas do you specialize in?
4. Do you have an in-office staff?
5. Can you provide references and or testimonials?
6. How many buyers have you represented in the last year to buy a home?
7. How much of your business is based on referrals?
8. Do you have any special designations?
9. What obstacles have you overcome in past experiences regarding real estate?
10. What is the benefit of having a buyer representation agreement?
11. What are your negotiation skills?
Most important- make sure you are comfortable and confident in who you hire to represent your best interest.
All these will give you a good indication of how much experience they have. Also, beware...do not allow this agent to give you listings for you to drive around and look for properties on your own. This will be an agent that is not a true professional.
Again whatever happens DO NOT GO AT IT ON YOUR OWN. As a Buyers Agent you don't pay him, the Seller of the property does. His services to you are FREE>
The home-buying process is complicated, even for experienced home buyers, and as a first-time homebuyer, you will need extra advice and assistance.
Ask other recent first-time buyers who their agent was and if they had a good experience. Otherwise, go online and search local Realtor websites. You can often get a good idea of how much they cater to buyers and what type of information that they provide.
Be sure to personally speak with several different agents and ask them questions and see how knowledgable they are. Ask them questions regarding taxes, insurance, neighborhoods, schools, and anything else that is important to you. When you find the right agent.... you will just know it. You will be working with this person quite a bit and will be trusting them to guide you through this complicated and expensive process....so it is important that you feel comfortable with them and trust them.