An Agent of Change
A good real estate agent makes all the difference! Remember that as the buyer, you don’t have to pay for the services of a real estate agent; the seller pays the commission. A great way to start searching for an agent is to reach out into your own network of family and friends. Ask them for the names of real estate agents they’ve worked with and then interview each agent. You may be tempted just to go with the first name you get, but it’s really important to get matched with the right agent, because you’re entrusting them with finding the best home for your buck. You want them to advocate for you throughout the whole process. If you go to an open house or drive by a home you like, be careful of contacting the agent listed because they represent the seller, not you.
It’s very important that the agent you choose is familiar with the area in which you’re looking to buy. Ask them how long they’ve worked in this area and how many buyers they typically work with. Also, make sure they have a professional designation, such as a GRI—graduate of the Realtors Institute—or CRS—Certified Residential Specialist.