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Should You Hire a Realtor to Find Your New Home?

Real estate agents can be extremely helpful to those looking to buy or rent their new home, but not everyone opts to hire a realtor and it isn’t necessarily a requirement for finding a good home. Realtors can guide you through the process of finding available houses, assessing them, and eventually putting in an offer to rent or buy, but if you know what you want you might not need the help.

So how do you know whether or not a real estate agent will be beneficial and worth the cost? Well, there are a lot of things to consider. Finding a new home takes a lot of work and time, and you don’t want to settle for a poor fit when you have to live there for the foreseeable future. If you’re about to start the process of looking for a new home and aren’t sure how to go about it, here are some things to keep in mind.

Where to Find Them

You first need to know how to find good, reputable realtors. Even if you’re still debating if you actually want to work with an agent, looking up some professionals and seeing what they can do for you can help in that decision.

Many real estate agents are private contractors, so they don’t have the benefit of a large corporation paying for expensive advertising. Instead many agents rely on third-party companies for real estate lead generation, which essentially means they hire a company to help them attract and maintain realty clients. For anyone looking to possibly hire a realtor, this can be reassuring as it often means the agent can focus more on their clients rather than keeping their attention mostly on gaining new ones. It also, in many cases, means they have a reliable way to follow up with their clients after sales or work with them again later on.

When you’re searching for a possible realtor to work with, a good idea might be to get recommendations from people you know and trust. If you have any friends or family who moved recently with the help of a real estate agent, ask how they found the experience and if they would recommend that particular realtor for your situation. You should still do your own research as well, of course, but an endorsement from someone you know well can give you a good idea of how well that agent works.

You can also of course look up reviews for different agents in your area. Again, seeing what other people have to say about a professional can help you decide if you want to hire them as well. Just remember that reviews aren’t always the most accurate representation of someone’s work since not everyone who’s hired a realtor will write up a review about them.

What Are You Looking For?

Before deciding to hire a realtor or handle things yourself, make sure you know what exactly you’re looking for. A real estate agent will need to know what kind of properties to look out for and what your absolute deal-breakers are, and if you do your home-searching yourself you’ll need to keep these things in mind to know what you’re looking for.

First, you have to decide where you want to live. Whether you’re staying in the same neighborhood, moving across town, or going to a different state, location is extremely important, and not just in terms of the city or town your home is in. You’ll have to consider what’s around the particular neighborhood and how far your home is from certain things. Know the location of your workplace, doctor’s office, and any restaurants or shops you’d like to be nearby to make sure you don’t move too far from them. If you have children you’ll have to look up school districts and such as well.

Take stock of what you need out of your new home, what you want, and what you definitely don’t want. Make a checklist of things like budget, property dimensions, layout, and the number of rooms. You might also want certain features in your home like a finished basement or a pool. These are all things you can probably look for and find yourself, but a realtor can help narrow your search and find listings that meet most if not all your criteria.

Meeting Up

Before making your decision, consider meeting with a real estate agent to see what they’re like, how they work, and if they’d be a good fit for you. You don’t have to hire an agent right away. It’s perfectly acceptable to request a consultation beforehand.

Always be honest about what you want. It isn’t a problem if your checklist is very long or if you have a lot of specific things you’re looking for. A real estate agent’s job is to help you get everything you want in a home and they understand the need to be a bit picky when making such a big decision. As long as your requests are within reason and you’re willing to compromise a bit, an agent should be more than happy to work with you.

Besides the actual work of helping you find a house, you should also make sure you get along with the realtor on a personal level. Whenever you’re working with someone in any capacity it’s important that you get along and complement each other well so everything goes smoothly. Make sure you’re comfortable asking questions and clarifying what exactly you want.

Finding a new home to rent or purchase is a big step and needs to be thought through carefully. While it’s possible to find the perfect home by yourself, a real estate agent can certainly make the process a bit easier with their expertise, as long as you choose someone reliable and hard-working.

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