How to Hire the Right Agent When Buying a Home

Stacie Wells

There’s one thing you need to know. No two real estate agents are alike. Let that sink in for a minute. No two agents are alike.

Sure. In Georgia, we all take the same 75-hour sales pre-license course and we all have to pass the same state licensing exam. Then there’s the post-licensing class that every real estate agent has to take, and each agent has to have the same number of continuing education hours. There’s also a required Code of Ethics training class if you’re a member of the National Association of Realtors®. This is where the similarities start to end. Why is that, you ask? Let’s start here:

Independent contractor (noun): A person hired to do work who controls how the work is done,  retaining total and free control over the methods used in doing the work or performing the service.

Most real estate agents are independent contractors, therefore there is no singular job description that defines all real estate agents. How do you find the best one for you?

Let’s be real. I think you could ask 100 different Realtors® what you should look for when hiring an agent and get 100 different answers because (and I may be wrong – it’s certainly happened before) I think each one may tell you things from a slightly biased opinion. If you ask the agent with 100 Zillow reviews what’s important, they’re probably going to tell you that reviews are important. If you ask the agent who has 10 designations (all those multiple letter acronyms listed after their name), they’ll tell you how important that is. And on, and on, and on.

You know what? None of them are wrong, but do you know what the most important thing is? Your individual needs (everyone’s needs are different) and how well-suited the agent is to handle them. That relationship is so very important.

Keep in mind that everyone’s personality is different. You need to find someone that you enjoy being around because you are going to be spending a lot of time with them. You need to be able to trust them completely. Communication is huge, so make sure it’s someone whom you’re comfortable communicating with. What are your expectations and how well can this agent meet them?

Another step in finding the perfect fit for you is to ask for referrals. Your friends and family are probably a great resource. Ask for details. What did they love about their agent? What did they do well? What did they not do so well? If your move involves another city, ask your favorite local Realtor® for a referral. There’s a good chance they have a relationship with someone in that area and can connect you.

I asked one of my past clients what she and her husband appreciated about having me as their buyer’s agent. Here is her response…

“With our two previous home purchases (early in our marriage) we were young and inexperienced and were not given the best advice/direction by our agent. We felt that this resulted in us being taken advantage of by the finance company and the real estate agent. This time we needed someone we could trust! You were that person. Not only did you encourage us that we could once again own a home, but you found us a trustworthy mortgage lender with an interest rate that could not be beat! We would’ve never found that on our own.

In addition, you handled the contractual details of real estate which we are not familiar with, eliminated a great deal of stress by working with the seller’s agent, handling all of the details of the contract negotiations, setting up closing, helping us find inspectors, etc. which would have been very time consuming for us and taken us away from our jobs.”

This response came from a couple who had originally told me that they thought they would never be able to own a home again due to some unexpected life events. We were able to push through all of the things they had previously seen as roadblocks so that they could realize their dream of once again owning a home. They now have a place of their own where their kids and grandkids gather to celebrate holidays and enjoy being together with family. Success!

What about you? What are you looking for in your next home-buying experience? If you are thinking about making a move, or if you have questions about the market, I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you. No question is too small and it’s never too soon to start planning. I care and I love to help! If you think I might be a good fit, you can call or text 706-945-7649 or feel free to connect with me on Messenger