Finding the Best Realtor for Your Home Purchase

 By: Greg Smith
Navigating through today's maze of properties for sale can be tricky. Having a realtor who not only knows the area, but can also gauge what type of home is best for you, is essential. But how do you choose the most qualified person for your quest?

Often word of mouth is a good way to start. Do you have friends who had a positive experience with a local realtor? If not, try to find a realty company that is known for great customer service.

Having a good rapport with you realtor is key. Open and honest communications will help both of you be on the same page when looking through the list of properties available. Additionally, choosing a good realtor will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Make a list of exactly what you are looking for - proximity to your job, schools, price range, and floor plans desired - so your realtor has a clear idea of what type of house to show you. If you find that most of the properties your realtor is taking you to are unacceptable, it may be time to revisit what you had originally expressed, and clear up any miscommunication. You may also have to examine whether your expectations of available homes are within the price range you can, or want to, afford.

Agents often have a niche that they specialize in. If you are in the process of buying a larger home with a yard for your expanding family, you probably don't want to be dealing with an agent that focuses on downtown condominiums. Conversely, if you are looking to downsize in your retirement years, having an agent that has sold suburban homes for 30 years may not be ideal either.

Don't be afraid to switch realtors if you see warning signs that this person does not have your best interests in mind.

* Are they trying to talk you into a purchase of a home where you don't feel 100% comfortable?

* Do they take more than 24-30 hours to return your calls?

* Have you been notified that this realtor is also helping to sell the same house he is encouraging you to buy? Ensure you are getting the best deal possible with both sides represented by one person.

While you can't judge a book by its cover, keep an eye out in the area you want to live for realtors that have good marketing programs. Bus benches, large ads in newspapers, flyers and various radio or television commercials show that this realtor is serious about his business.
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