Magazine article Sunset

Finding a Real Estate Agent

Magazine article Sunset

Finding a Real Estate Agent

Article excerpt

How do you choose a real estate agent? According to a recent industry survey, most home buyers ask friends, relatives, and business associates who have recently bought a house in the area under consideration for their recommendations. A small percentage of buyers use newspaper advertisements or simply go to a realty office. A smaller percentage yet find an agent at an open house. To help you make a fully informed choice, here are some other suggestions.

Interview several real estate agents from different firms to find one you're comfortable with. (An agent won't mind the fact that you are doing comparison shopping as long as you are up-front about it.) Find out if the agents are familiar with the area you are interested in, how long they have worked there, and whether they specialize in houses of any particular type or price range.

If an agent suggests driving out to look at houses before establishing what you can afford and what you are looking for, find another agent. The best agents want to be as efficient with your time as they are with their own. A good agent will try to help you determine what you can afford from the start and will direct you to lending institutions you can call to find out the amount that you are qualified to borrow. …

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