You may have noticed that in the last year our lives have moved online more than ever before: classes, meetings, and even open houses and showings for real estate. If you are looking for the perfect realtor to be your guide as you buy or sell a home, it probably comes as no surprise that in 2021 searching online can be an excellent option to find someone who matches your needs and goals. We’ve outlined some tips for finding the perfect realtor using the power of the Internet.
Before you even start searching online, a number one tip is to ask your friends and neighbors for a referral. It could be that you can skip some of the legwork for online research by starting from a trusted recommendation — moreover, if you have a strict timeline for buying or selling, timing is everything. A referral can save time, but your research doesn’t end there, and first of all, be sure that you are asking for unbiased referrals from people who you trust. Once you have referrals, you can research these agents online to see what kind of presence they have, the types of homes they are selling or helping people buy, and then contact them to find out more and see if they might be a good fit.
Use a tool for research
You could start with Google to seek out agents in your neighborhood, but there are also specific tools designed to help you find a real estate agent that can get the job done faster. These assets, like HomeLight’s agent matching tool work with an algorithm that reviews sales records to identify top agents in your area. By answering a few questions, you’ll then have a list of agents who you can consider.
Go above and beyond
Hiring a professional is a must, but doing extra research can ensure that this person is really qualified to get the job done. Beyond online tools like HomeLight, Yelp, and a Google Business Page, where you can see reviews, transaction history or other info, it doesn’t hurt to do a little more digging just to be sure this person is really someone who you can count on. You can confirm that they are licensed in your state by checking your state’s real estate commission. Arello is another useful database to discover licenses linked with an agent’s name and location. The state real estate commission, board, or department websites, are another resource to make sure everything aligns.
Get the full picture
Finding a realtor online isn’t only about researching their professional background, you also need to understand where the home you are selling, or the one that you want to buy stands in the market, so you can find someone who can be your partner to help you meet your goals. Doing your homework in advance about how your home compares to other similar ones in your area — such as with a home affordability calculator — can better prepare you to interview agents. When searching for your dream agent, you’ll want to ask about their track record including the number of homes that they sell or help people buy each year, their typical timeline for the selling or buying process, and any included marketing services if you are selling.
A necessary first step to selling or buying a home is hiring an agent who you trust. Online tools abound to help you find that person. The key is to stay focused to avoid online research fatigue or overwhelm, so you can meet your perfect agent in no time.