With so many licensed real estate agents in Arizona, how in the world does a person go about finding the perfect one? There are many things to consider, honestly it can seem like an overwhelming process. What kind of agent is best for your situation? What kinds of agent qualifications and experiences should you look for? Where do you even begin to research an agent? Then once you have narrowed down the crowd, what questions should you ask your prospective agents? It’s no small thing, buying or selling real estate in Arizona. There are so many really great real estate agents in Arizona, let’s break down how to find the most effective one for you.
Now Getting Down To The Business Of Researching And Choosing An Agent
So, you are ready to begin looking for a few good agents to help you buy your first, next, or dream home, or to sell the home you already have. Choosing the right agent is of utmost importance when buying or selling property, if you pick a good one the process will be a great experience. If you pick one that isn’t right for you, you’ll have bad memories for years. With all of the information available on the Internet, of course that is a great place to start, but also be prepared to do some actual legwork in the area you want to buy or sell in, it will pay off at the end. We will organize this information by:
- Online research
- “Footwork” research
- Things to be wary of
Most people these days go straight to their computer and start looking for agents online. This is certainly a fine way to start. Maybe you have seen some photos of agents on billboards or on “for sale” signs, or perhaps someone has mentioned some names to you. You can start there by visiting their website. Is it well designed? Is it easy to navigate? Are there photos of the homes and properties? Are the photos nice to look at? Are there “virtual tours”? All of these things are important to consider. If an agent is a professional, they will have a professional website which is often the first impression a buyer or seller will have of an agent. If the website is out-of-date, has unclear photos, or none at all, maybe this isn’t the kind of agent that will have the best interests of your property in mind, or won’t be attracting buyers (if you are a seller).
As a buyer, look at an agent’s current listings on their website, or on a site such as Realtor.com (a website which compiles properties in the Multiple Listing Service) to view their online presentation. Does the agent have listings in the area you want to live in? Are the listings in your price range?
You don’t want to hire an agent who specializes in ritzy high-end real estate if your budget is more middle class, you might not get the attention that you will need.
Check to see if the agent has plenty of listings to indicate a good business, but not so many that yours will get lost in the shuffle. Search for an agent’s statistics on a website like Zillow, which will allow you to search a specific area to find the agents with the highest ratings and best reviews. Then read the reviews. Remember, while the reviews are a good idea to peruse, not all clients, whether they were happy or not, will leave reviews. But you will get a good idea of how some of the agent’s clients were treated.
You will also want to do some actual real-life research, “footwork” if you will.
Get recommendations from family and friends, or from coworkers who have bought or sold property recently. Ask mortgage lenders and appraisers who they like to work with. Drive around the neighborhoods you would like to live in and look for who’s for sale signs are in the yards. See which agents are buying and selling the most homes in your neighborhood or the neighborhood you want to move into. Check out open houses in those neighborhoods. Agents will often use open houses to meet up with potential buyers, even those who aren’t interested in that particular home. Collect business cards. Find out where the agents live! And this is so important! A local agent will be able to answer pertinent questions about the community where you want to live, like how the schools are, what the traffic is like, what the crime rate is. If you are looking to buy a home in Chandler, but your agent lives and works in Sun City, they might now be in the know about what listings are new or that would be good for you. You want a local real estate agent in Arizona who is familiar with the community you want to move into.
A neighborhood expert is important because they will know the landscape of the area you want to move to, when moving a block or to in a different direction could raise or lower the value of a home by $100,000. So definitely think local when you are researching real estate agents in Arizona.
Finally, here some things to pay attention to when you are researching real estate agents. Look for an agent who is a full-time agent. Full-time agents actively follow the markets every day and will make you a priority because that is their job. Agents who just do real estate on the side might not have the time to give you and your property the attention you will want to get a home sold quickly or to spend hours with you looking at several potential homes to buy.
Look for an agent who has closed several properties and has been working in the area for more than a few years. If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Arizona, do you really want a real estate agent who has only recently moved to Arizona from Rhode Island? You definitely want a local agent with some experience. After you have done all of this research, be sure to choose at least 3 to 4 agents to interview. You will want to interview them because you will soon have a list of questions to ask!
Questions For Your Potential Agents
After you have checked credentials, done plenty of research, and then picked 3 or 4 possible agents, you are finally ready to ask some questions. Do not be intimidated or shy about asking questions, even hard ones. The right agent can make buying or selling a home a pleasure, the wrong one can make the experience miserable. Their job is to help you, so definitely ask questions. If you are unsure of what to ask, here are some suggestions:
- How many sales have you made in my targeted neighborhoods? This will give you an indication of how well the agent knows the neighborhood and how well they know the local markets.
- Can I have a Comparative Market Analysis for my neighborhood? If you are a seller, you will want to know about how much to ask for your home, you can make a decision based on other homes’ worth in the area.
- How will you market my home? If you are a seller, you should know how the agent plans to market your home to reach the most target buyers possible.
- How often and in what form will we be communicating? Whether buying or selling, you need to know how (by phone, email?) and how often (daily, weekly?) your communications will be. This way, everyone will be aware of expectations and not left wondering.
- Can you give me some references? Always ask for references, and then follow up on them. Ask the clients about their experiences.
- What is your fee? Just so there are no surprises and everyone is clear on costs.
Do you represent buyers and sellers on the same house? Dual agency is bad for buyers, make sure your agent is only representing you and your interests.
You are now ready to go out and find the best real estate agents the state of Arizona has to offer! You have done your research, you have asked the right questions and you are ready to buy or sell your home with a great Arizona real estate agent!
Contact The MoJo Team
With a combined 10+ years of experience, Josh Hintzen and Morgan Hodges have more than enough knowledge, information, and know-how to help get you the home of your dreams in Arizona. Contact The MoJo Team now and get a handle on your real estate needs.