- Check out Realtor 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 Realtors — You don't have to exhaust yourself interviewing agent after agent, but at least chat with two or three to see who you're most comfortable with. The licensed real estate adviser you choose should be able to clearly understand your needs.
- Don't under estimate the value of chemistry. — Interpersonal skills are as important as professional skills. You will probably be working with your real estate professional anywhere from 2 to 12 months, so it helps to get along with them.
- Find out how they search for. — When deciding on a real estate professional, ask how they shop units. Some Realtors have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s dream for you, not what’s ideal for your Realtor. So make sure the Realtor is willing to search high and low to find the most suitable home for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- Make sure you understand what you sign. — The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all licensed agents to sign a representation agreement before showing properties or having material discussions about a specific home. Be very wary of any agent that is not concerned about getting a representation agreement signed. This advice is heavily used for a reason. It's critical that you examine all documents during the home buying process, and that includes your agent's representation agreement.
The most compatible Realtor is not necessarily the one related to you, and might work for a family business (or a Fortune-400 company). The dream Realtor is one who listens to you, and wants to find a property that appeals to you (rather than to the Realtor). Every home shopper is different. Some home buyers need garage parking. Some buyers love fixer-uppers.Some buyers are military. Just as property hunters have different needs, Realtors have different attention to detail and patience. Here's some best practices for spotting the ideal agent for you when you're buying in Alexandria: