Choosing a Buyer’s Agent


Bus Photos Oct 16 2006-C-2 001Finding the right real estate sales representative takes balancing credentials and chemistry. You want to choose someone you like—after all, you might spend the next six months working together. But your agent also needs to be able to safeguard your financial interests.

You want somebody trustworthy who you can rely on. A good agent will listen carefully to your priorities and won’t waste time on properties that don’t fit the bill.

Don’t just call the first agent whose lawn sign you see. Ask friends and family members for references (and check them!). Interview at least three agents to find the one with the experience, skill and personality that matches your needs.

Most experts recommend five or more years experience—which is not to say that someone with less can’t do a good job. Sometimes less or long time experience means a smaller client base, which translates into more attention for you.

Real estate is a local game, and to win you need someone who plays in the areas where you’re looking to buy. Not only will they be up on market trends, they’ll know about local schools, commute times, and under-the-radar red flags, like the solid-waste transfer station that’s been proposed for the neighborhood.

Inquire about what’s currently on the market in your price range; they should be able to rattle off a few properties. And ask for a list of references of past clients they’ve handled in your target neighborhood. After all it’s what they have to say that really matters.

If you already know of an agent you like and trust but feel they maybe can’t help you in a target area you’re interested in, it’s wise to ask them to recommend you to an agent they know who can help you. That way they are still able to oversee your experience with the other sales representative.