According to industry statistics, 5.34 million existing homes and an additional 682,000 newly constructed homes were sold during 2019. Massive numbers like these can give pause to those about to venture into the real estate market for the first time and make them unsure of how to proceed.
Choosing to work with a knowledgeable, responsive real estate agent is the best way to ensure that the first home-buying experience will be a good one, even in a hectic market. First-time homebuyers who are unsure of the qualities they should look for in a real estate agent can use these tips to make a more informed choice.
Opt for the career agent
The real estate industry attracts many people who actively work full-time jobs in other industries while listing and selling homes as a side gig. While many of these agents are reputable and hardworking, they may not be a good choice for the first-time homebuyer who will want access to consistent guidance and support throughout their buying process.
Opting to work with a career agent who has built a successful real estate business can have many advantages for a first-time buyer. Some of these advantages of working with a full-time real estate agent include:
- advanced knowledge of the local real estate market and trends
- more availability to meet with buyers, show homes, and answer questions
- ability to provide an established system of support to help first-time buyers navigate the entire purchase process
- greater experience with local lenders, inspectors, title companies, and contractors
In addition to less market experience, part-time agents are often much less responsive to buyers because of the demands of their full-time jobs.
Ask about communication policies
First-time buyers should always inquire about each prospective real estate agent's communication policy. The most reliable agents are happy to share their policies for communication with their clients, including how often they check messages and how quickly they can be expected to respond to voice mail, email, and text messages.
Verify the experience of past clients
The experiences of past clients can be very helpful to first-time buyers looking for the right real estate agent. Taking the time to contact past clients who have already worked with an agent you are considering is an excellent way to get a good feeling about their suitability for your own buying situation.
Using this information to meet with and evaluate several highly qualified, successful real estate agents in the area in which you plan to purchase a home will help ensure that you make the right choice for your needs.