5 Tips to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Thomas Short
Military VA Loan contributor

When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, there are a lot of things to consider. However, all home buyers and sellers will agree that the fastest, easiest process (and possibly even cheapest) process is going to be the best.

Real estate agents help you either buy or sell a property, depending on their area of focus. They know your local market and have plenty of connections, so they should be able to get everything finished quicker while also giving you less to worry about. Real estate agents should also work to get you the best deal during negotiations.

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Are real estate agents worth the cost?

While real estate agents do charge a percentage of the final closing as their fee, these costs can sometimes be assumed by the selling party. If you’re a home seller, you may have to pay extra, but you’ll likely be getting a better value for your home.

At least, this is what a real estate agent should do. Unfortunately, plenty of home buyers and sellers pick the wrong real estate agent. This can be costly, both time and money wise.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, keep these keys in mind before signing with a real estate agent.

5 tips for picking the right real estate agent

1. Find a VA-experienced agent

If you’re buying a home with a VA loan, be sure to find an agent that has experience working with VA home buyers. VA loans are excellent, but they have specific requirements that other loan programs don’t have.

Finding an agent that understands VA loans will make the process easier for you while also speeding it up. This is good to have since VA loans are often the slowest mortgages to close.

2. Choose the person that will work for you

All real estate agents will work for you, but you need to find one that works well with your personality and habits. Real estate agents are people, too, and just like people, you’re bound to get along well with some and not so well with others.

You’re going to be spending a decent amount of time with your real estate agent. Finding one that you get along with will make the process much easier for both sides.

3. Check with your friends & family

You probably trust your friends and family for advice on plenty of topics. The real estate agent you pick should be no different. If someone you know had an excellent experience with a real estate agent, then you’re likely to have a similar experience. Any bad experiences with real estate agents should also be considered.

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4. Check their previous work

Real estate agents often have a specific market that they specialize in. One real estate agent may be excellent for finding homes in a specific area while another may have a ton of experience with luxury homes.

Before picking your real estate agent, check out their previous work. Look for homes similar to yours or the ones you’re interested in. If they have experience working with homes like the one you have in mind, then this could be a good fit.

5. Trust your gut

Working with a real estate agent is a very human thing. If you think that a real estate agent isn’t going to work out, even if you don’t know why, you may want to move on and find someone else. Always trust your gut, even if the realtor might have worked out.

Remember: buying or selling a home can be a long process. If something doesn’t feel right and you’re uncomfortable, that’s something you may hold on to through the entire process. This might slow things down at some point, or you could get stressed out and regret your decision at some point.

Thankfully, there are roughly 2.5 million real estate agents in the United States. The perfect agent is out there somewhere, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to settle if you don’t think it will work out.

Check your VA home buying eligibility. Start here (Jul 15th, 2024)