If you’re reading this, chances are you may be thinking about buying a home. Sure, it’s fun dreaming about where you might live, looking at photos of kitchens and baths, and exploring what kind of house you might get at a certain price point. But when you’re ready to take your online search into the real world, finding an agent that’s right for you can make all the difference.
If you’ve never bought a home before – or maybe even if you have – you may not realize that you can work with a real estate agent who has a fiduciary responsibility to represent your interests as a buyer. A buyer’s agent can work with you to understand what you need and want in a home and help you find and secure a home that fits your budget and lifestyle.
He or she can even help save you from yourself – for example, when my husband and I were looking for our first home together, we fell in love with an adorable house that looked just perfect for us. Until our agent pointed out that the kitchen had no dishwasher and was so small that there was no room to add a dishwasher. Not to mention the oil tank in the basement – that’s for another blog post.
But how do you find an agent that’s right for you? That’s where realtor.com® can help. While you’re browsing any one of the 1.4 million listings of homes for sale on realtor.com, you can also use realtor.com tools and resources to research and reach out to professionals with the expertise you need to succeed.
Your first stop might be “Find a Realtor®,” where you can search an online database of 1 million+ Realtors® nationwide.
Another way to learn about agents is while you’re searching for homes on realtor.com. On nearly every listing display, you will see a “Contact Agent” hyperlink:
Clicking this link and completing the pop-up form will help put you in touch with an agent who could represent your interests as a buyer, if you ultimately decide to enter into a buyer agency agreement with that agent.
In limited markets, realtor.com is introducing ways to connect home shoppers with the local agent that’s right for them via the site’s concierge platform, which identifies agents that have proven success with clients in specific markets and price points. Once connected, buyers will be able to contact that agent by phone, text or email directly from a property listing on any realtor.com search result to ask questions about that property, schedule a house tour, arrange a meeting, or request additional support.
You might also notice profiles of agents and local listings from sellers they represent in your search results:
These agents are active in the local market in which you are searching and have expressed an interest in working with buyers who are considering a purchase in that market.
As you talk to potential buyer’s agents, think about what you need in a professional partner. Some questions to ask:
- How long have you been a real estate professional?
- What neighborhoods do you specialize in?
- What experience do you have working with buyers like me?
- How do you like to communicate? (Email, text, phone – what works best for you?)
- How often do you check in with your clients?
- Will you represent my interests as a buyer exclusively?
In the end, the time and consideration you invest in finding an agent who’s right for you will pay dividends in the long run; his or her professional guidance and support can help you turn home search into homeownership.