California Banking Rates

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Agent

The right real estate agent can make a huge difference in the sale or purchase of a home. Consult friends, relatives or neighborhood expert for an agent recommendation and do your homework. The more questions you ask, the better your experience will be! Consider the following tips and qualifying questions when selecting the right real estate agent for you:

• An excellent recommendation doesn’t necessarily mean the agent is the best choice for you and your neighborhood’s real estate climate. Check the agent’s specializations to include their expertise with sellers, buyers, short sales and/or foreclosures.
• Lender and Real Estate Association websites can be great tools for choosing local experts. Although these programs often offer incentives to choose an agent through their program, monetary motivation shouldn’t be the sole reason for your selection.
• Visit open houses to gauge an agent’s knowledge, experience and marketing style.
• Take time to schedule a call or a meet-and-greet with potential agents to discuss your needs, their qualifications, and their proposed plan to assist you.

Questions to Ask

• Do you work in Real Estate full time? How much time can you devote to my needs?
• Is there a secondary associate that I can contact in your absence?
• Do you hold any professional designations or specializations?
• How many Buyers/Sellers have you assisted in the past year? May I contact them in reference to their experience working with you?
• How familiar are you with the homes for sale in my preferred area and price range?
• What is your plan and market strategy to help me buy/sell a home in today’s market?

Being honest and up front with your requirements and expectations will yield better results with your agent, establishing a good line of communication. Your chosen agent should demonstrate an interest in your needs and a willingness to put forth the effort needed for your transaction to be a success.

Kristin Huntoon is a Licensed Real Estate Agent with the California Department of Real Estate. As a member of the Orange County Association of Realtors, she represents both Buyers and Sellers in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties. For more information on selling or purchasing a home, contact Kristin at (562) 743-5747, or via email at myrealtorkris@yahoo.com. Don’t forget to ask about Listingbook: your access to the REAL MLS!