Looking to buy or sell your home with an agent but don't know where to start? Researching to find the best real estate agent for you can be simple if you follow these 4 steps below!
4 Steps To Use When Researching Real Estate Agents
1. Research Their Experience in Your Desired Area
You want an agent who is an expert in the area you are looking to move to. A lot of agents will have extensive experience selling and buying in specific communities and will be able to provide you with insiders information on schools, walking scores, neighborhood background and demographics etc. These agents may have also worked with home builders in that area and understand the architecture, history and build information for many of the houses in certain neighborhoods. In order to find an agent that has experience in your desired area, you can start by simply googling and see which agents have web pages or articles related to that neighborhood or community. You can also ask for recommendations on Zillow or Trulia forums to get insight from real sellers and buyers who have worked with agents in your desired community. Simply taking a drive through the neighborhood could be a huge benefit as well! If you see "for sale" signs, take note of the realtor on the sign. Talk to families walking around or in community common areas.
At Glass House, we specialize in Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland real estate. You can find out about some of the many communities we've bought and sold homes in by checking out our Real Estate Listings blog. Don't see the area you are looking to move to listed in the blog? Contact me and I'll be happy to talk about our experience and what we have to offer.
2. Take a Look at Their Current and Past Listings
Selling a Home: Want to know how well an agent will market your listing? Take a look at their current and past listings on Zillow, Trulia and their own website and social media. Do they post listings to top websites? Do they include videos and professional photography? Do the homes seem professionally staged? How do they market their listings across social media channels? This type of research will ensure that you choose an agent that will work hard to get your home noticed and sold!
When working with Glass House to sell your home, we hire a professional to stage and photograph your home, at NO EXTRA COST. We also guarantee that your home's listing is posted on social media and all the most important websites for marketing! See more about our process here.
Buying a Home: Find out where this agent typically sells and where their experience lies by checking out their current and past listings. You can learn a lot about where and who they've worked with. You can also learn about the types of homes they sell for clients, which will help you understand better what you are looking for and how this agent can help you find it.
For example, Khalil El-Ghoul is Willowsford Farm's 2015 "Realtor of The Year". He has extensive experience in the Ashburn community of Willowsford, Virginia's first and only "farm to table" community! Awards and recognitions are a great way to ensure that your agent is knowledgeable about the community where you desire to purchase your new home.
3. Read Reviews and Testimonials
What are people saying about this agent? Reviews and testimonials are the absolute best information you can get about a prospective agent. You can easily find reviews through Google, Trulia, Zillow and Yelp profiles. Also, be sure to check local forums and ask for agent recommendations and experiences in order to get real insight from buyers and sellers who worked with agents in your area. If you are interested in an agent, ask them to provide contact information for past clients who can talk to you about their experience. When speaking with them, ask them for a couple reasons why they would recommend the agent and any reasons why they wouldn't. You'll be grateful to have all of this information before choosing the perfect agent!
4. Understand Their Process
While you may think the real estate agent process is standard, many agents will have specifics that differ and are unique from competition. For example, you may want to consider a rebate agent rather than a traditional real estate agent. With a rebate agent, like Glass House, you can expect to save money when buying or selling your home due to small commission fees and cash back rebates. Also, some agents will charge for posting your listing on certain websites or marketing on social media. Many agents do not include staging or photography when working with them and require you to hire on your own. Understand exactly what you can expect when working with an agent to sell or buy your home before getting started!
Interested in learning more about rebate agents?
To start working with Glass House it begins with a simple conversation. Contact us online or call us at 877-765-5080 to see if the Glass House process is a good fit for you. We will have a brief introduction, learn some background on your home search and answer any questions you may have.
Whether you have a specific question or would just like more information, we would love to hear from you! There is never an obligation or pressure to use our services; just a friendly conversation to see if we can help you save thousands of dollars on your next home.
"Thanks for reading! I’m passionate about empowering home buyers and sellers with professional advice and unbiased information, throughout the real estate transaction. Unlike most agents, I always put clients first. When it comes to negotiating, marketing homes, and sealing the deal, I’ve got the experience and knowledge you’re looking for. If you have any questions about moving to VA, D.C., or MD, don’t hesitate to reach out."