How To Choose the Right Realtor (2024)

If you’ve ever searched for a Realtor, whether online or elsewhere, it quickly becomes obvious that there are many to choose from. How do you know who is the right one for your particular situation?

Are They Experienced?

Agents are NOT all the same! The level of experience from one agent to the next can vary a great deal and there is no substitute for experience. The truth is, this is a difficult business to get established in. I have seen numerous people over the years obtain a license, never sell anything and eventually let their license lapse.

When someone fulfills the required hours of pre-license education, they are taught the things needed to pass the test and obtain the license but taught very little about how to actually do the job. Most end up learning the business as they go and that takes time and the desire to learn.  With a newer, inexperienced agent, it’s a huge plus if they are being mentored by someone with more experience.  Some real estate companies require this for new agents, but most don’t.

More information about the requirements for a real estate license in Illinois can be found here

Real Estate is Local

How familiar is the agent with your area or your neighborhood? This is something very important to consider.  If you’re buying or selling a home in Lake Villa or Antioch, it would probably benefit you to work with someone who really knows the market in Lake Villa or Antioch. Local knowledge is a huge plus! To take that a step further, someone who knows and specializes in YOUR neighborhood is probably someone you should interview. These agents are usually easy to find just by paying attention to whose ‘sold’ signs you see frequently in your neighborhood. The agent’s online marketing can also be a good indicator of their knowledge of your neighborhood.

Realistic Expectations

Hiring an agent because their office is in a more affluent area and thinking this will get you more money for your home is unrealistic. If their clients have more money, chances are they’ll be shopping for homes in more affluent areas.

Referrals Can Be a Great Source (Sometimes)

Having an agent referred to you by someone whose opinion you trust can be a good thing – if that referral is based on experience they’ve had with that agent.  This is much different than working with an agent because they’re your co-worker’s uncle’s friend. Do your homework!

Questions and More Questions

Ask questions! a lot of them! Whether you interview one agent or several, there are many questions you should ask: How long have they been in real estate? How many homes have they sold in YOUR neighborhood? Can they provide references from satisfied past clients? Do they have their own website and a strong online presence? Do they have a team and, if so, will you actually be working with them or will you be handed off to a less experienced agent? When you call them, will they actually answer the phone or at least get back to you quickly?

Get What You’re Paying For

Service!  This business is all about service. Without that, you might as well attempt it on your own. One of the most important things a good agent will possess is the ability to solve problems. Every transaction is different. It’s not uncommon for problems to arise in a transaction. A highly experienced agent will probably have encountered most things that can come up and will know how best to deal with them. Have questions?

How To Choose The Right Realtor

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