Finding a trustworthy and capable real estate agent is not as simple as it should be unless you know some trustworthy and real estate savvy people in the area where you are moving.
The reality is that it is not real hard to become a real estate agent. The hard part is doing the job well.
A good agent will be careful with your time and your money. A good agent will know the area well and be able to protect you from money pits and issues that may be only locally known (e.g. everybody in town knows these streets flood every fall when the hurricanes start).
In the same way that you would be able to determine a good doctor from a quack a lot faster than the average person, a good real estate agent will probably be able to help you find another good real estate agent faster than you would on your own.
Full disclaimer: this is how I make money using this site, vetting agents for you.
If you don’t know a trustworthy real estate agent to help you find a good agent where you are moving – and for some crazy reason you don’t want to use me 🙂 – then, here are some tips to help you find a good agent:
- Call at least a dozen agents (if there are that many where you’re going). This will give you a good sense of what the schmoozing sounds like and who are the yakkity-yakkers who talk all day without ever answering the question you asked.
- Pay attention to the way they respond to your questions. Do they answer? Or do they steer you toward some sort of sales pitch?
- Get a sense for how desperate they are for your business. Being desperate is not necessarily bad. They may be willing to walk a 1000 miles for you in order to get the sale. On the other hand, they could push you toward closing on something that isn’t right just because they need the cash.
- Ask them about how long they have been in the business, how many sales have they closed in the past year, how long they have lived in the area.
- Ask them about their fee structure.
- After you have done all of the above, go with your gut.