If you are thinking of buying of selling a home that has to be one of the first questions that you ask yourself. Do you ask a neighbor or a relative? Do you call an agent that has a sign in the yard? Do you look in the Yellow Pages? Where do you start? Just like all professions REALTORS come in all shapes and sizes. Some specialize in Waterfront homes, bank owned properties or historical homes. Some REALTORS are specific to a zip code or a particular neighborhood inside of that zip code. Picking a REALTOR is no different than picking an attorney, a CPA or a Dentist. You want to make sure that that person is competint, trust worthy, and that there is a connection since you may be working with them for an extended amount of time and spending time in the same car. With over 93% of home buyers in the United States starting their home search on a major search portal like Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia most buyers contact the first agent through the internet. Even though that is where they find an agent most buyers and sellers are doing their homework on the REALTOR that they want to use and do not always work with the first agent that they talk to. Some buyers may first meet an agent at an Open House that they walk through but may or may not decide for that person to represent them in their home search.Prospective buyers and sellers are doing a few of the following to start their REALTOR search.
1. Checking the online profile of the REALTOR
2. Asking for friend, relative and neighbor referrals
3. Looking for online reviews and ratings for the REALTOR
4. Talking to some of their past clients
5. Asking the local or state board if the agent has any complaints against them
6. What is their involvement and/or experience in your community
These are just a few of the ways to make sure that you are comfortable with your choice of who to work with. In the end your gut feeling is still going to go along way. No matter how you find an agent it is always a good idea to find representation no matter what side of the transaction that you are on. Also you need to know the agency laws for your state and know who is representing you.