- Check out Realtor 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 Realtors — The Realtor you choose should be able to clearly understand your needs. There is no one-size-fits-all. I know that Andrew Patton is not for every purchaser.
- Your agent should never have an irritating personality. — You don't want to have to explain the same thoughts and ideas over and over. You and your real estate pro might be spending a lot of time together.
- Ask how they hunt for properties. — When picking a real estate agent, ask how they search for properties. Some real estate agents have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s best for you, not what’s a dream for your real estate agent. So make sure the real estate agent is willing to search high and low to find the dream place of residence 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. Some representation agreements describe hidden administrative fees of $500 to $1000 that you must pay at closing. (Our does not.) This advice is heavily used for a reason.
The right real estate agent in Fairfax County for you might work for a family business (or a Fortune-400 company), and does not have to be the friend of a friend. Your best choice is more concerned with your needs than the licensed real estate adviser's needs and can think creatively to make the deal happen. Here's how to shop the great real estate agent for you when you're purchasing a home with 4 bedrooms in Marlan Heights: