So, you’re ready to buy a new home – but where to start? This is where professional help can be great to have, but you might wonder how to pick a buyer’s agent. You’re in luck! Picking a buyer’s agent that’s perfect for your needs and plans doesn’t have to be too intimidating. The team at Ben Buys Indy Houses is ready to offer you some tips on how to pick a buyer’s agent. Though we primarily work with sellers in the Indianapolis region, we know that buyers need some love, too!
How to Pick a Buyer’s Agent
Ask for Recommendations
This is step one to finding a great agent. Ask around – friends, family, neighbors and coworkers are all great places to start. Anyone who has bought a home recently and used an agent or broker is going to be able to give you more information than a website or online review can. Ask them questions about their experience with the agent like:
- Did you like them
- How long have they been in the business
- Did they communicate with you and reply promptly to your calls/texts/emails?
- Were there any things about working with them that you disliked?
- Did they fulfill your expectations?
- Did you feel that they were honest and upfront with you throughout the process
- Was the process smooth?
- How did the agent handle any problems that arose?
If you don’t have someone to ask these types of questions, look into your local association of realtors, as they might be able to recommend someone to you. For more tips, check out this article.
Interview Real Estate Agents
Once you have a short list, it’s a good idea to interview a few different buyer’s agents. Ask them questions about their work experience, goals, knowledge and more. Here are a few ideas for things to ask:
- How long have you worked in this industry?
- How many transactions do you average annually?
- Have you ever had any formal complaints filed against you?
- Are you familiar with the neighborhood I’d like to purchase in?
- Do you have former customers that I can contact for a review
- If you’re a first time home buyer, ask if they’re familiar working with people like you.
- What kinds of certifications do you have?
- What are your fees and/or commission rates?
- What is your availability?
Feel free to ask more questions about their methods, what you can expect from them and more. Plus, be sure to evaluate whether or not their personality seems like a good fit for yours – nothing worse than looking for a house with someone who grates on your nerves.
Find Someone Who Knows Your Area
This is very important – find a local agent who will know the area. You want someone who can take your needs and wants for schools, local shopping, crime rates, taxes, HOAs and more and apply that to the houses they see. An agent who knows the neighborhoods you’re looking at and knows the area well will be best suited to do that.
Moving out-of-state? Find a buyer’s agent local to the area you’re moving to, since they’ll be able to help you find the best spot for your new home.
Having trouble finding a local agent? We recommend trying tip #1 – asking friends, family, neighbors and coworkers for recommendations. If all else fails, you can always turn to the Internet!
Opt for an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent
Finding a buyer’s agent who exclusively works with buyers can really help, too. Look for one who is an Accredited Buyer Representative, which means that they have certain certifications and have passed exams. You can look for one using the database here. When you interview your short list of agents, ask them if they accept sales listings as well – if they do, they could have a conflict of interest and be more interested in selling you a home listed with them instead of the best one for you.
This may require a bit more work and research than simply going with the first real estate agent you see, but it will be worth it in the end.
We hope that these tips will make your selection process easier and less stressful. And, if you ever find yourself in the Indianapolis area and needing to sell a home quickly, then give us a call. We are proud to help out numerous homeowners and owners of other real estate to sell in the face of foreclosure, divorce, the loss of a loved one and many other situations.