What should you be looking for when you start your real estate search and are trying to decide on an agent to represent you as a buyer or seller? And how can you tell which real estate agent will do the best job? Here are the five things to look for when deciding:
What better way to learn more about a real estate agent than from people who have worked with the agent themselves? Real estate agents often rely on referrals, which means the best ones get the highest praise from other people. Check out the testimonial section of agent websites to read what previous clients have to say about the agent you’re researching. You can find reviews on Facebook, Google+, Trulia, Yelp and Zillow.
2. Personal blog
An agent’s blog should provide important information that contributes to your knowledge of the real estate market and your target neighborhoods. Their posts should be a good indicator of how well they know the community and whether they’re involved in local happenings. If their blog is updated frequently with relevant content, you know the agent is on top of trends and should be better able to assist you
Inventory, or the number of homes that an agent represents, is a good indicator of how busy an agent is. While a buyer’s agent may not have as many listings as a seller’s or listing agent, this should give you a good idea of how invested they are when it comes to their clients. In addition to current listings, taking a look at sold listings and the history of sold properties (i.e. number days on market, price reductions etc.) should give you a better idea of what and how much they can do for you, if you choose to hire them.
4. Map-based searches
Most agent websites have maps integrated into their listing page, so you can search for homes based on a geographic location. As you browse real estate inventory online, you’ll notice that some agents have invested in more complex mapping technology that allows you to do everything from exploring a neighborhood to creating customized and automated searches. The agents who offer smart tools are the ones to watch.
5. Chat service
Having customer service representatives who are ready to help with questions, requests for information or even to help you schedule appointments is an added bonus. Being able to use a chat service also makes it a lot easier when you’re pressed for time and need an immediate response.
This guest post was written by Alyssa Williamson, a Team Leader at ReadyChat. Headquartered in Toronto and Founded in 2013, ReadyChat serves hundreds of real estate agents and brokerages with their intuitive live chat software comprised of best in class technology and 24/7 live chat-support agents.