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Finding the best real estate agent in the Triangle

Posted February 28

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

Whether you're buying or selling a home, a real estate agent can be an invaluable partner throughout every step of the process.

From experience in the local area and connections within the industry, to intimate knowledge of financing procedures, a good agent can simplify the experience to find a better home for you or more qualified buyer for your property.

First, Ask Around

Your social circle can be a great way to find a trusted real estate agent quickly.

Friends, family and neighbors are all great sources of previous experiences and information about local real estate professionals. Not only will the agents they recommend likely have knowledge about the area, but you will also know they have good references from people you trust.

"The majority of my new clients come to me at the recommendation of my former clients, some of whom have become great friends of mine," said Mary McCrery, a real estate broker for Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston. "Making the decision to sell or buy a home is significant, and I value the opportunity to serve my clients to the best of my ability. My commitment to that service is a key piece of my success as an agent."

It is important to be aware that a real estate agent will eventually have deep knowledge of your finances, which is something you may want to consider if you are planning to hire a family friend or close associate. You and your agent will sometimes be discussing sensitive information, and you will want to make sure you are dealing with someone with whom you can speak directly and honestly.

Online Tools and Directories

The Internet offers a huge database of potential real estate agents to work with, and there are many benefits to hiring a real estate agent via an online directory as opposed to seeking one out through social connections.

You will be able to find an agent with experience specifically in your area of interest, and will likely be able to locate reviews or past ratings they have received from other clients. This can offer you insight not only into the agent's competence, but also whether his or her style and background will suit your needs.

Online listings are also a great way to find more niche information and specific skills that some real estate agents may possess. One agent may specialize in relocations to new cities, while another may speak different languages or work with the particular type of property you are interested in purchasing.

Personality

Do you need to make a home deal fast? Perhaps you would like to work with a more aggressive agent. Want a modern home? Maybe you would prefer a real estate sales professional who shares a love of the same home design style you are seeking.

Taking the time to determine the style and personality of potential real estate agents can be extremely beneficial for homebuyers and sellers. Remember, you are going to be working with this person very closely for some time, maybe even months.

You will want to make sure you have researched and asked about how different real estate agents conduct themselves. They might be loud and flashy, or more reserved. Check out the agents' previous listings online as well to ensure you pick someone who will be a good partner in the process.

Questions to Ask

Make sure you know where the agent's experience and skills lie. You can ask what percentage of their deals are buyer or sellers, where they tend to work, and what their level of experience and education is within the field.

"Take the time to meet with a real estate agent in-person to see how well you connect. Use that time to ask questions about the agent's track record and areas of expertise," suggested Matt Horton, director of marketing for Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston. "You will want to hire a sales professional who is well prepared to answer your questions and demonstrates the ability to help you."

Ask how many homes they sell per month; a more efficient and skilled agent will likely move more homes than others.

Are they full- or part-time? A full-time agent might be easier to stay in touch with day-in and day-out.

Of course, never hire a real estate agent without reviews and references, preferably a reference you can contact directly.

This story was written for our sponsor, Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston.

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