How do you know what to look for in a buyer’s agent? Here are the three qualities you want to find.
If you’re ready to buy a house, the next step is to find a good agent. Unfortunately, not all buyer’s agents are the same, and choosing the wrong one can lead to a difficult time in the market. To make sure your agent is the right fit, you want to be sure to look for the three E’s:
I’m not just talking about the number of years worked or the number of transactions completed. For me, experience is more about how someone handles day-to-day situations and navigates difficult transactions. How does the agent handle adversity? How do they educate and empower clients? How is their reputation in the market? Do they have a relationship with sellers’ agents? Are they familiar with the market? What about loan programs, such as VA or FHA loans? These can all be key factors in helping buyers save money while still winning in multiple-offer situations.
Unfortunately, the classes needed to become licensed aren’t very helpful when it comes to buying or selling homes. Agents are taught about licensing, law, and ethics—these are still important for the business, but they don’t cover everything it means to be a great Realtor. Education is more about constantly learning and finding ways to improve your craft.
Being a Realtor is a career that I take very seriously. Continuing education courses are mandatory, but I also work toward certifications and designations for areas I’m interested in working in. For example, I’m a military relocation professional because I wanted to learn more about the PCS process and how to best serve my military clients. These types of education are key for having a great relationship with a Realtor, as they know exactly what they need to do to accomplish your goals.
Market research is another important part of education. Things are changing constantly, and Realtors need to always be up-to-date with what’s going on in real estate. Agents must be familiar with specific neighborhoods, know what it takes to make a winning contract, and be able to protect their clients in competitive situations. Additionally, they must understand different types of contracts—in our area, we have different contracts for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. It’s important to understand the nuances and differences between each one.
I think this one might be the most important “E” of all. You want a Realtor who can be there for you throughout the process. Are they easy to reach? Do they have office hours or set expectations of when you can contact them? Do they communicate with you in ways that make sense? All of these are very important, so make sure your agent is someone who is a good communicator and stays in touch with you through each step of your home search.
Buying a home can be an incredibly difficult and emotional process—I often joke that Realtors find themselves working as therapists at times. So, your agent should look at you as more than just a commission. They should be your partner in the transaction, and they should care about your needs, wants, and dreams when it comes to buying a home.
If you’re thinking about jumping into the market, keep these three E’s in mind when looking for an agent. Additionally, make sure your agent is someone you enjoy spending time with, as you will be spending a lot of time with them when looking for homes. If you have any questions, would like more information, or want my help in finding a home, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.