- Check out real estate pro referrals. — I like Angie’s List because I know that Angie’s List voice verifies each review. You can also see if the agent or brokerage has any awards for client satisfaction.
- Interview several agents — You sometimes need to see the detached home you don't want to buy to feel comfortable with the home you will buy. It's the same with licensed real estate advisers. The real estate professional you choose should be able to clearly understand your needs.
- Don't under estimate the value of likability. — You don't want to have to explain the same thoughts and ideas over and over. We all have unique personalities, and that's the way it should be. But when working with someone professionally, if helps if their personality “meshes” well with your own.
- Ask how they hunt for properties. — When selecting a Realtor, ask how they seek homes. Some agents have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s great for you, not what’s dream for your real estate pro. So make sure the Realtor is willing to search high and low to find the perfect detached home for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- Make sure you understand what you sign. — The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all licensed agents to sign a representation agreement before showing properties or having material discussions about a specific home. Be very wary of any agent that is not concerned about getting a representation agreement signed. This advice is heavily used for a reason. Some representation agreements describe hidden administrative fees of $500 to $1000 that you must pay at closing. (Our does not.)
The best Realtor for you may have less experience, and is not always the one with the most sales under his or her belt. The best choice of real estate pro for you is not afraid to tell you the truth (even when you don't want to hear it), and wants to find a home that appeals to you (rather than to the real estate agent). Here's my words to the wise for discovering the right licensed real estate adviser for you when you're buying a property like 2003 Belfield Rd with 3 bedrooms: