Finding the Perfect Real Estate Agent
Are you trying to find the perfect Long Island real estate agent to help you in your search to buy the home of your dreams? There are hundreds of agents to choose from in Nassau County and Suffolk County but to find an agent who understands your desires — whom you feel you can trust to help locate the best house at the right price — you’ll need to do some research.
Ask the Right Questions
Before you start your research on finding the right real estate agent, you need to understand your own needs. Are you pressed for time to find a new home or do you want to take your time? Do you want a tough negotiator or a compromiser? Do you want to see every listing or have the agent recommend listings? When you have an idea of the type of agent relationship you want, then you’re ready to start your questions list.
Start with some typical questions – how many years of experience does the agent have, and how many of them are in the local market where you’re looking to buy? The more experience they have negotiating in the local market, the better.
You’ll also want to know if the agent is a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent. While it’s beneficial if your agent knows both sides of the real estate transaction, make sure they’re most experienced with buyers.
Check that they’re experienced with the type of purchase you’d like to make (i.e., if you’re looking to buy a short sale or a foreclosure, or if you want a specific mortgage.) Then ensure that they’re experts on the neighborhood you’re most interested in. Local housing markets are varied, even from one Long Island neighborhood to the next.
A very important question to ask a real estate agent is about their strategy as a buyer’s agent. Agents have different strategies for closing deals, so make sure you are both in agreement as to which strategy to use.
If getting as great a deal as possible is most important to you, you’ll want an agent who is a skilled negotiator. If there is a particular house you must have, you may want an agent who is good at getting a seller to compromise.
Make sure you are comfortable with your agents working style, and vice versa. Be sure to ask plenty of questions about their personality and work style to ensure that your working relationship will be positive for both parties.
Do you want a friendly, casual relationship with an agent or a more formal one? Some agents interact more casually, while others are more formal. Agents may text, call, email, or do all three – so make sure their preferred method of communication is good with you.
Decide if you want to hear from them daily, or even see them daily (which might be the case if you’ve got some urgency.) If your search is slower, perhaps a weekly meeting is enough.
Find out what sort of advocate they are. Some agents consider themselves as just a mediator between you and the seller, while others see themselves as a home-buying coach. Some agents provide their own opinion, while others only offer the facts – both are fine, but their way of interacting should be one that’s comfortable for you.
Talk to References
Checking references are important before hiring a real estate agent. Ask for the names of the last three clients they have served. Insights from past clients can help increase your comfort level. Some questions to ask the references provided include:
- Did your agent communicate often?
- Did your agent provide you with new to market or pre-market listings?
- Was your agent up-to-date on the current market?
- Would you recommend your agent to your family?
Consider the above guidelines when forming your list of questions to ask a real estate agent. Take your time and interview several – having the perfect real estate agent can be the difference between getting disappointed or closing on your perfect Long Island home.