6-things-to-look-for-in-a-real-estate-agentThe internet has drastically changed the nature of home buying. You can now look for homes, apply for a mortgage, calculate mortgage costs and even submit loan documents all from the comfort of your own home. But the one thing the internet cannot replace is the need for a good real estate agent to assist with the home purchase process. Since buying a home is most likely the largest purchase you’ll ever make, it is wise to choose a reputable real estate agent to help you find your dream home and guide you every step of the way. Here are 6 things to look for when selecting a real estate agent.

1. Honesty

Buying a home is a big deal, and is something you may only do a few times in your life. That’s why it is important to have an agent that is truthful to guide you through the process. If you feel that your agent isn’t 100% honest, it’s time to look for a new one.

2. Great communication

The home buying process requires buyers and agents to be in constant contact, which is why it is important to choose a real estate agent that is a strong communicator. To ensure that your agent understands your needs, they will need to have excellent listening skills. They’ll also need to be comfortable using a variety of methods to communicate with you throughout the process.

3. Familiarity with the local market

It’s extremely helpful if the real estate agent you work with lives and works in the area where you are looking to purchase a home, as they will be most accustomed with comps in the area, which help them to set an appropriate list price for sellers and a proper offer amount for buyers. They also will be able to best match you with a neighborhood to suit your “must-have” list of items you can’t live without.

4. Good reviews

It’s a good idea to check out online reviews when choosing your real estate agent. They can make you aware of any red flags that others point out before you decide to work with them. In fact, according to recent data from Bright Local, a surprising 88% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

5. Punctual

Americans are busier than ever and shopping for a home on top of a full time job can be a challenge time-wise. In fact, the average home search involves looking at 10 homes and takes 10 weeks. That’s why it’s essential to have a real estate agent that shows up on time to home showings. This is especially important in a seller’s market because it could be the difference between getting your offer in before another interested buyer.

6. Experience

The home buying process is complex, so having an experienced real estate agent may be helpful. With experience comes the ability to handle a variety of situations that may arise throughout the home buying process.