- Check out real estate professional 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.
- Talk to multiple Realtors — The real estate professional should have time to talk to you. If you pick the most popular real estate pro in Alexandria, you might find yourself working with a junior associate affiliated with that licensed real estate adviser. The real estate agent you choose should be able to clearly understand your needs.
- Don't under estimate the value of likability. — 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. You want a Realtor that “gets you”.
- Find out how each real estate agent identifies condos for the property seeker. — When picking a Realtor, ask how they identify homes. Some real estate pros have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s most suitable for you, not what’s best for your Realtor. So make sure the real estate professional is willing to search high and low to find the best residence for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- Read paperwork carefully. — The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all licensed agents to sign a representation agreement before showing properties or having material discussions about a specific condo. Be very wary of any agent that is not concerned about getting a representation agreement signed. A representation agreement describes the agent's responsibilities and your obligations when a real estate agent shows you a residence in Fairfax County. This advice is heavily used for a reason.
Your best choice might not be a local, and might not look like the typical Realtor. The best choice of real estate professional is easy to get along with, and is equipped to handle unique situations when they arise. Each purchaser has individual needs. Some buyers need help selling their current home in addition to buying a new condo. Some purchasers need garage parking. Some buyers love the fact that Nesbitt Realty will rebate them $883 when they use me to purchase 6621 Wakefield Dr #509. (Others couldn't care less.) Just as each buyer client is an individual, agents have different expertise and experiences. Here's my suggested course of action for picking the great real estate pro for you when you're purchasing in Alexandria: