Tips for Finding a Good Agent When You're Ready to Buy a House

If you're ready to start looking for a new home to buy, the first thing you want to do is choose a good agent to work with. You'll have a more personalized experience by using an agent than you would by randomly looking at homes yourself or calling the seller's agent. Here are a few tips that can help you pick a good real estate agent to work with.

Choose a Realtor

You may not realize that a realtor and a real estate agent are not the same thing. They basically perform the same job, but a realtor is also licensed by the NAR, or National Association of Realtors. This means the realtor has to abide by a code of conduct and ethics when buying and selling real estate. This code covers things such as full-disclosure, honesty, and putting the client's interests first. Therefore, you should have a better chance of finding a reputable and trustworthy agent if you use one that is also a realtor.

Work with a Buyer's Agent

If you're buying a home, you want to work with an agent who will represent your interests and not the seller. That's why you want your agent to notify the seller's agent when you want to view the house and when you want to place an offer. This eliminates the risk of the seller's agent taking advantage of you. Plus, some agents specialize in the buying process. This keeps them up to date with homes on the market and current trends that buyers like. You will probably find your dream home quicker if an experienced buyer's agent helps you.

Choose an Agent That Specializes in Your Target Neighborhood

Real estate agents often specialize in certain neighborhoods. This has a few advantages. You may feel more confident working with someone who knows the area well over someone who rarely buys and sells homes in the neighborhood. Also, someone who works the neighborhood every day is aware of all the homes for sale, so you can be matched to the home you like much quicker. The agent can also watch for new homes to come on the market, so you are one of the first to view them. An agent that's familiar with the neighborhood can also fill you in on local schools, churches, and stores. This is a big help if you're moving from a different city and don't know a lot about the local area.

Buying a new home is exciting and scary at the same time because it is a huge financial investment. A good agent can make the process less stressful and help you avoid wrong decisions when you're house hunting.