- 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 Realtors — You don't have to exhaust yourself interviewing agent after agent, but at least chat with two or three to see who you're most comfortable with. The real estate agent you choose should be able to clearly understand your needs.
- Don't under estimate the value of likability. — You will probably be working with your Realtor anywhere from 2 to 12 months, so it helps to get along with them. You want a real estate pro that “gets you”.
- Ask the agent his/her process for finding detached homes. — When deciding on a agent, ask how they search for homes. Some Realtors have their own preferred listings that they favor. But you want what’s most suitable for you, not what’s dream for your agent. So make sure the Realtor is willing to search high and low to find the perfect place for you. That includes using the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as well as their own personal network.
- The devil is in the details. — 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.) Some representation agreements describe a rebate paid to the home buyer at closing. (Nesbitt Realty offers rebates.) You'll want to read the fine print to make sure that this rebate isn't pulled away at the last minute.
The most suitable Realtor for you probably isn't a pushy individual, and may have less experience. The great Realtor is one who listens to you, and doesn't get hurt feelings if you have a different opinion. Here's what you should pay attention to when finding the great real estate professional for you when you're purchasing a detached home in Fairfax County: