It’s the new year and buying a new home is a resolution for many folks. In fact, I’ve already received 3 calls from people interested in buying a home this spring. Perhaps the thought of buying a new home or moving up to larger home has crossed your mind too.

Important decisions require the guidance of a trusted advisor. When making important tax decisions I consult my accountant. When planning for kids’ college savings I talk to my financial planner. In both cases I wanted a top-notch professional.

So often I see folks try to go it alone or even worse with an agent that they think is protecting them but truly isn’t. It’s an unfortunate and false sense of security. To the inexperienced eye everything seems “normal”. But to the conscientious professional, the problems that await are glaring. The questions are: how do you meet a great REALTOR®, and what should they do for you?

Meeting A Realtor

There are many ways to meet a REALTOR®.

  • Referral – Of course a recommendation from a friend or family member is an excellent start. They can share first-hand experience about their professionalism and knowledge.
  • Open Houses – This is an excellent way to interview REALTORS® without them even knowing it! You can observe how knowledgeable they are about the house and market, their personality, how they communicate, and if they are transparent about disclosing issues with the home.
  • Office Manager – Another good source is the manager of your local real estate office. On a daily basis, she observes the real estate habits of several agents. She knows who gets high marks from clients, who may be a target of complaints, who is constantly on top of the latest market trends, and who exercises professionalism.
  • Caution – It’s natural to want to work with the “top” agent in a community. Being the top agent makes them excellent at self-promotion. Remember that top agents are often busy. Always ask if you will be working directly with them or their assistant?

The Job of a Skilled REALTOR®

Your Realtor’s primary job is to protect you. They should help identify structural problems, future resale issues, and make sure you’re paying a fair price. But equally important is their ability to teach, reduce stress and pressure, and arm you with the knowledge to make good decisions. That’s the kind of REALTOR® you want!

Working with a skilled REALTOR® to a buy a home can be a fun and exciting process. Choose wisely, and you will form a great home-buying team!