Finding a real estate agent is not hard. Stick a store-bought For Sale sign on your lawn and wait for real estate agents to start calling. The hard part is finding one who is really good at what they do and who will work hard for you and with you.
Barry Zigas, director of housing policy at the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, D.C., says there’s a lot a consumer can do when looking for a real estate agent. Here are a few of his ideas:
1. Ask people you trust who have used a real estate agent who they used, whether they were happy, what worked and what didn’t work with the individual.
2. If you don’t know of anyone, go to open houses, interview agents and ask to speak to previous customers.
3. Be prepared to act on your own interest. Make sure you understand all aspects of a real estate contract. You should not turn over all decisions to your agent.
4. Competition is a wonderful thing. Tell potential agents that you’re shopping for an agent. Ask about their fee arrangement. Everything is negotiable, especially now. Consider asking what work you can do in exchange for a lesser fee.