How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate company when you are buying or building a home is an important decision and can make the difference between a rewarding experience financially and emotionally, and a stressful and painful experience.
Training and Registration

One of the first things to consider is whether or not your prospective real estate agent is really a trained and licensed operator. Check prospective company websites and any documents they give you for evidence they have been fully trained and properly licensed.

If they call themselves a realtor they should be a member of the National Association of Realtors®, which is the largest trade association in America. Membership of NAR means they must adhere to the NAR's code of ethics.

The website lists some of the abbreviations you may see on a real estate agent's documents to indicate their specialist training. Examples include ABR (accredited buyer representative who has passed a course in buyer representation), CRE (counselor of real estate, which is an elite invitation-only group for agents with extensive experience), and GRI (graduate of the realtor institute).
Full Service Company

Look for a real estate company that offers all you need for your real estate needs. If you can find a full service company in your area the process of buying or building your home will be much simpler and more straightforward.

In Florida, for example, one of the top real estate companies is the Miloff Aubuchon Realty Group. Together, the members of the group provide access to mortgage and insurance services, a real estate information center, an interior design center, and a model home. They say these services allow their sales team "to make the real estate process painless and an enjoyable experience." Full service also keeps their number 1 rating for the area.


When you are researching companies to handle your real estate needs, do not forget to ask your contacts for their recommendations. A company's reputation is vital and word-of-mouth is the best advertising any company can have.
Interview Several

Buying, selling, or building a home is a huge financial commitment, and so it is wise to thoroughly research real estate companies before choosing one. You will most likely have been in contact with several already if you have been to open house inspections, and perhaps have some idea of the best prospects.

Take your time doing the research and carefully consider at least three possibilities before selecting the one you think is best.
Ask the candidates questions about their training, registration and licensing. Ask about the company's track record, average sale time, and what backup the agent has available if they are sick or out of the office. Ask for two or three references with phone numbers, and call the numbers and talk to the referees.

By asking these kinds of questions you will be able to get a feel for which of the prospects listens, how they react to being questioned, and what kind of advice you might expect.
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