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How to Choose a Real Estate Agent

To look at homes, you'll need the help of a real estate professional. You can begin by asking for referrals from friends or family members. Once you find a real estate professional, you'll want to discuss your preferences for a home, such as city or town, style of house, number of bedrooms, and more. Your real estate professional will help you narrow your search.

All real estate agents are required to:
•  Exercise reasonable skill and care in performing their duties
•  Deal with clients honestly and fairly
•  Disclose all facts which are known to the agent that affect the value or desirability of the property

A good real estate agent can:
•  Help you define and clarify your needs
•  Facilitate the negotiation process of offers and counteroffers
•  Facilitate the financial and legal aspects of the closing

Evaluating Real Estate Agencies

When deciding which real estate agency you want to work for you, you should ask yourself a series of questions and compare the results from each agency.

Some issues to consider include:
•  Does the agent ask you questions about what you want and need in a home?
•  Does the agent seem to be a good listener?
•  Has the agency been in business for more than three years?
•  Does the agency advertise regularly? (Look at their ads and analyze their effectiveness.)
•  Does it feel like the agent has respect for you and your preferences?
•  Is the agent knowledgeable about various neighborhoods?
•  Does the agent know about property taxes, schools, square footage, etc.?
•  Does the agent get back to you with answers to questions that he or she did not know?
•  Does the agent return your phone calls promptly?
•  Do you like the agent? Do you feel comfortable with him/her?
•  Does the agent help you identify the weaknesses as well as the strengths of the house?

By analyzing your choices of agencies, you will have a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each, allowing you to make an informed decision.