How Do I Choose a Realtor?
Choosing the right realtor to represent you can be one of the greatest benefits to your entire home purchase experience. Remember that you will work intimately with this person for possibly several months, and you are trusting them with the biggest personal financial investment you can make.
Look for someone whose personality blends well with yours.
The more experience they have and the more homes they've sold, the better skilled they will be in coaching you through the steps of home buying. Even if you've bought 5 homes in your life, they may have assisted five buyers last month, or even last week!
Integrity is crucial, and so is ability.
You want to know this person is completely honest, both with you and with the selling party, to keep your transaction moving on track with no legal ramifications. You also want to know that they really do have YOUR best interest at heart. A great agent believes that getting you the house for the LOWEST possible price, is of great gain to them, since your subsequent loyalty will provide them future referral business.
Also be sure your agent is concerned about your re-sale.
Even if you plan to stay in this home forever, someone in your family will be selling the home for you eventually. The average American moves every four years, so think about selling tomorrow - the one you choose to buy today.
How do you find out about these things? Ask questions.
You may interview agents if you like. Call them up or email them, or even better for that personality question, ask for a personal meeting to get to know them. Can they help you along all ten steps of the sale (the Buying Basics)? Do they know vendors that can assist you now and after the purchase when you need repairs or improvements to the home? How do they handle your needs when they have vacation time? Would they permit you to call some previous clients for references if you wanted to take the time to do make such calls?
Just remember that integrity and ability go hand in hand. Be sure you feel you can trust the agent you've chosen to KNOW and to DO the right thing for YOU, all through the process.