You’ve done your research and decided now’s the right time to look for a new home—great! Having a real estate agent by your side as you view homes and compare properties can make a big difference while you’re making a major decision, especially if you’re buying for the first time, relocating to a new city or selling a home. Use these 6 steps to determine if your real estate agent is right for you.
1. Ask other homeowners for recommendations or former clients about their experiences.
One of the best compliments a real estate agent can receive is positive word-of-mouth from satisfied clients. If others were pleased with their experience, chances are you will be, too.
2. Understand an agent’s credentials.
A real estate agent may have advanced training and credentials, such as:
- Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
- Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions.
- Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers age 50-plus.
An agent who is a Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has formally pledged to a code of ethics.
3. Check the agent’s current listings.
Looking at an agent’s online listings can tell you a lot about them. Do they have a healthy business? Is it so busy that they could be unavailable to you? It’s also a great way to look at their use of technology and attention to detail—are listings presented professionally and attractively with helpful, easy-to-understand content?
4. Gauge their knowledge of the area.
Ask about recent selling prices of other homes in your desired neighborhoods. Is the agent well-informed about the community and special features of each neighborhood? Are they honest about something that could be a concern, such as traffic or crime rates?
5. Consider the agent’s communication style.
Do you feel comfortable asking questions? Do they respond right away or have a support team that can offer assistance? Are they good at talking and negotiating? You may be spending a lot of time with the agent, who should be helping you make one of life’s most major decisions. It’s important you can easily communicate and that your personalities click.
6. Take note of passion, but also compassion.
Of course, your agent should be enthusiastic about making a sale, but they should work with you instead of pressuring you. Are they in tune with your personal needs and life circumstances to ensure the home and price are right for you and your budget? Don’t be afraid to listen to your gut and move on to a new agent if needed.
Experienced Real Estate Resources
As a Navy Federal Credit Union member, you have access to RealtyPlus®, a program that helps you find experienced local real estate agents and shows you nationwide home searches. It’s easy to find an agent who knows the market and can help you navigate the home-buying experience with confidence. 1
- Ask for real estate agent recommendations from people you trust and do research into local agents or teams who are well-reputed in your area.
- Contact an agent to schedule a meeting to get to know them—maybe even through RealtyPlus! Bring a list of questions and talk through your needs, wants and expectations with a prospective real estate agent.
- Once you’ve found an agent you’re comfortable working with, consider signing a Buyer’s Agent Agreement to ensure they’re working in your best interests.
In order to fully benefit from RealtyPlus services, you must be referred by RealtyPlus before contracting with a real estate agent and be represented by the assigned RealtyPlus real estate firm and agent at closing to qualify. Standard listing fees apply. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions.↵
You must be registered with RealtyPlus before you can enjoy RealtyPlus referrals and services. Standard listing fees apply. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.