When you want to begin looking for a home, you will need to find a Realtor. First you should ask friends, relatives, or co-workers for a recommendation. Have them describe their experience with the agent and ask why they are recommending that person. You want to choose someone that you feel comfortable in working with.
It is not as important to find a Realtor who has sold the most homes, has the most experience or works for the largest and most well-known company as it is to find someone that is professional. You want an agent that will listen to you, uses ethical conduct, and knows the market.
You can also attend open houses and meet real estate agents. See how they interact with you and answer your questions. Pay attention to how they show the home. Take notes and collect business cards. Then you can compare the agents you saw.
Look at web sites of Realtors or real estate agents. Read any testimonials they have. Call them up and ask questions about their experience and how they work with buyers. Get a feel for them and what they can do for you.
You also want an agent that will work within your schedule. Most of the time it needs to be someone who works as an agent full-time. They are available days, nights, and weekends. Not all agents work the same way. Find one that you are comfortable with. Trust your instincts.
First, list the skill sets YOU want in an agent (e.g. local expertise, specific buyer agent experience, years in business, etc.) Then you'll want to honestly assess how you prefer to work - texting, via email, calls daily, etc. Then use this in your interview process.
When in doubt, always listen to your gut feelings. Here is a link to the 16 Questions Most Agents Pray You Never Ask http://goo.gl/jeaai.
It helps if you like the agent since you will be spending a lot of time together.
You can meet with a few Buyers Agents, tell them what you are looking for and find out what they have to offer. You will get a feel for if they have a "used car" sales approach or truly have your best interests at heart and LISTEN to what you want!!
A good real estate agent will be able to take care of ALL your real estate needs--from finding the right home, negotiating the BEST price, setting up inspections, referring you to mortgage lenders,etc...If there is a particular part of town you want to live in, it is also helpful to use a Realtor that specializes in that area.
All the Best,
If you know anyone who has recently bought a home, you might ask around for a referral. Interview an agent first to find out if he/she is compatible with you. An accredited buyer representative (ABR) is probably your best bet as he/she would have your best interests in mind. Make sure that what you're looking for is clear to the agent. If, for example, you don't want to live in a ranch and you go out the first time and he/she shows you ranches, either you haven't been clear in what you want or he/she hasn't been listening. If it's the latter, maybe you should move on. Normally full time agents do full time work. Even if you can only get together on weekends, you need to know that this agent is working on your behalf during the week. How many listings do you expect to receive via email during the week? Finally, and most importantly is trust. Do you truly trust this person to have your best interests at heart and be willing to work as such. If you do not enlist the services of an ABR there is always a chance that the agent you choose is a seller's agent, not a buyers. The difference here is with a buyer's agent you are the client and with a seller's agent you are the customer. Which would you rather be? Good luck and I hope this is a great experience for you as it can be very exciting.
We feel it's important to seek compatability. Since you are going to be working closely with this individual it is best to find a person that you feel comfortable with.
Along with this come two other important qualities: professionalism and trust.
If your agent is a true professional(full time agent) there isn't any aspect of the transaction that will be a disappointment. Trust is an extension of professionalism but important enough to deserve its own attention.