Choosing the right real estate agent

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February 16, 2012

There are few greater investments an individual makes during his or her lifetime than buying a home. However, the process of finding the right home can take time and a great deal of effort, so having an experienced real estate agent to help find different properties, set up meetings, provide guidance during negotiations and narrow down a search can be especially beneficial to home seekers. Choosing the right agent for a home buyer's particular needs is important and there are a several ways to find an agent that meets an individual's needs.

Seek the advice of friends and family

No one has more insight into working with a real estate professional than a current homeowner, so ask friends and family members to explain their experience and the best ways to go about looking for an agent. Keep in mind however, that family and friends may have different needs, so individuals should continue doing their own research rather than choosing an agent based solely on their recommendation, reports.

Speak to an agency about their company's professionals

Real estate agents may all specialize in different areas or price ranges, so contacting an agency to find out where their colleagues' expertise lies can also be a good starting point. It's important to find a real estate agent that falls in line with the price range a home seeker is willing to pay and that has a wealth of experience in the market.

"The most important thing when either buying or selling a home is to select the right real estate agent, but people usually go about it backwards," real estate advocate Paul Purcell told "They read a newspaper or get one of the home magazines in the supermarkets, and they call about a home they see advertised. They should first select the real estate agent - one who will understand what they need and can navigate the system for them."

Timing is important

The home buying process takes time and many individuals may only have so much time to devote to seeing a home and meeting other appointments. For this reason, it's important that prospective buyers choose an agent who works a similar schedule, suggests. For example, individuals who can only visit homes on the weekends should choose a real estate agent that works during these days.