If you’re preparing to buy or sell a home anytime soon, there’s a good chance that you’ve started considering your real estate agent options. You may have a friend, family member, or friend of a friend who is a real estate agent, or maybe you are starting from scratch, with a good old Google search. Maybe you haven’t thought about a real estate agent yet. After all, your main priority is buying and/or selling a home, and a real estate agent is just a means to that end, right?
Yes and no.
Real estate agents are means to an end in the sense that they help you through the home buying and selling process. But who you choose as your real estate agent can greatly affect how smooth and enjoyable that process is. Just as you have the final say in the homes you do or do not buy, you also have the final say in which real estate agent you work with. You want to find someone you feel comfortable with and confident in, but what other things should you look for?
We’re glad you asked! Here are some of the most important things that we think individuals and families should look for when choosing a realtor.
Responsiveness is one of the first things to look for in a realtor, and it is also one of the easiest qualities to find out. When you first contact a realtor, how long do they take to get back to you? If you called the number listed on their website, did a real person answer? If you filled out a contact form on their website, did they mention when you can expect to hear back? And if so, did they respond within that time frame?
The housing market moves quickly, and you want to work with a realtor who is responsive. The last thing you want is a realtor who is hard to get a hold of or doesn’t respond to calls or texts quickly. A responsive realtor is the first step in a successful real estate journey.
Look for a real estate agent or team who has positive reviews from previous clients. If you’re searching online, you can look on Facebook, Yelp, and Google Maps for reviews. When you type in “real estate agent near me,” a list of realtors and their online reviews should appear. Take the time to read through them to see what people are saying. This can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Word-of-mouth referrals are helpful, too. If someone you trust recommends a realtor, look that agent up and see if their online reviews reiterate what your friend or family member said.
Regardless of the industry, you want to work with a seasoned professional. Real estate is no different. Find a real estate agent or team that has experience and success in buying and selling homes. The more experience someone has, the better he or she will be able to serve you when it comes to crafting offers, negotiating terms, and landing your home.
Ask potential realtors about trends they see with their personal client base. How long on average does it take for their clients to buy or sell a home? How many houses do they typically visit with clients? While every situation is unique, the answers to these questions can give you some insight on what working with this agent might look like.
Local Knowledge & Connections
This information is especially useful for those who are moving to a new area. Find a real estate agent who is familiar and connected with the area. Can they answer your questions and provide resources about school districts, traffic, different neighborhoods, grocery stores, shopping areas, restaurants, and anything else you have questions about? Do they have an established network (trusted mechanics, plumbers, contractors, etc.) that they can share with you to make your transition smooth? A realtor who can come alongside you and support your family in several aspects of this transition is invaluable.
A company’s values say a lot about who they are, why they do what they do, and what is important to them. While browsing through real estate agent teams’ websites, see if they share their values anywhere. If they don’t, consider asking them if you choose to schedule an introductory consultation. From this conversation, you’ll get a good sense of whether or not their number one goal is to find a home and check a box, or if they truly care about finding you the right home.
At Homefront United, we use the acronym ASPIRE to sum up our values.
- A – Accountability
- S – Service
- P – Professionalism
- I – Integrity
- R – Relationship
- E – Empowerment
Read more about our values and see if they align with yours.
Military Real Estate Agents in San Antonio
At the end of the day, finding a realtor you trust and enjoy working with can feel as daunting as buying your first home. But waiting for the right fit is worth it, so don’t give up! Working with the right agent will make the entire home buying or selling process more enjoyable for you and your family.
And know this: it is never too late to look for a new realtor. If you aren’t satisfied with your agent, find a new one! There is absolutely no reason to continue working with a realtor who isn’t meeting your expectations. If you feel like finding a new realtor is the right move, it probably is. Use the list above to help you find a great fit.
If you are a military family in the San Antonio area, we’d love to connect. We have personal experience with military cross-country moves, and we have helped thousands of families navigate their own military moves. Whether you are buying, selling, or both with your next move, we’re at your service. Contact our team today to schedule a time to see if we’re a good fit for your real estate needs.