- Check out real estate professional referrals. — I like Angie’s List because I know that Angie’s List voice verifies each review. You can also see if the agent or brokerage has any awards for client satisfaction.
- Interview several real estate pros — Take a moment to chat to me on the phone. If I can't help you, I can point you toward a real estate professional who is more suited to your needs. You sometimes need to see the dwelling you don't want to buy to feel comfortable with the home you will buy. It's the same with Realtors.
- Your Realtor should be someone you won't mind spending some time with. — You don't want to have to explain the same thoughts and ideas over and over. We all have unique personalities, and that's the way it should be. But when working with someone professionally, if helps if their personality “meshes” well with your own.
- Find out how each real estate pro identifies units for the buyer. — When picking a real estate professional, ask how they identify units. Some licensed real estate advisers have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s right for you, not what’s right for your Realtor. So make sure the Realtor is willing to search high and low to find the most compatible place of residence for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- The devil is in the details. — The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all licensed agents to sign a representation agreement before showing properties or having material discussions about a specific unit. Be very wary of any agent that is not concerned about getting a representation agreement signed. It doesn't hurt to have a attorney take a look at your representation agreement, but usually that's not necessary. The document is pretty straight forward. Some representation agreements describe a rebate paid to the shopper at closing. (Nesbitt Realty offers rebates.) You'll want to read the fine print to make sure that this rebate isn't pulled away at the last minute.
The great Realtor might not be a local, and might not have a brand new car. The perfect real estate professional for you doesn't get hurt feelings if you have a different opinion, and is equipped to handle unique situations when they arise. No two purchasers want the same things from a home. Some purchasers need garage parking. Some home buyers love contemporaries-style homes. Others do not. Some home buyers want a big lawn. Realtors are like home buyers, licensed real estate advisers have different specialties and areas of focus. Here's some best practices for finding the great real estate pro for you when you're buying a unit with 991 sqft of living space: