How should you screen Buyer Agent leads to make sure you get a good Buyer Agent? Here are five things you should look for before you even start to consider whether the agent is a good fit for you.
1. Buyer Agent Years of Experience
Ideally a buyer agent should have at least 7 years’ full-time experience. Most agents drop out of real estate before the 7 year mark. The ones who get past that, tend to be committed for the long-run. They’ve seen at least one full real estate cycle (a hot market and a slow market). This is very important in case the market changes while you are in the middle of your search. Agents who have lasted more than 7 years know how to negotiate. And they undoubtedly have a solid network of people who will help them provide the best real estate services to you.
2. Local Experience
The Buyer Agent should have sold properties in your target markets. If you have only one target location, it’s still best if the agents have also sold in the typical backup locations for the one you have in mind. This is important in case you decide to make a switch in the middle of your search. For example, if you want to buy in West Roxbury, it’s good if your agent is also experienced in Roslindale and Jamaica Plain.
3. Buyer Agent Experience Helping Sellers
You might think that an agent who works with buyers exclusively would be best for you. But in a competitive market such as Greater Boston, there’s a big advantage to having a Buyer Agent who is also experienced in helping sellers list and sell their homes. The advantage is that the agent has had access to sellers’ confidential reactions to offers, including competing offers. As a result, the agent is better able to coach you in making your offer(s).
Reviews by Buyers
There are a number of websites dedicated to real estate which have agent reviews, including: Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. There are also agent reviews on some consumer websites, including: Yelp, Google, and Yahoo. But, make sure to look carefully at the reviews. If an agent has a lot of 5-star reviews that say: “He’s great!”, without any details, the reviews may well be written by his family. If there are one or two really bad reviews among many good ones, try to determine if the bad ones sound like a “professional” complainers wrote them.
Buyer Agent Accreditation
There are two nationally recognized accreditations for Buyer Agents. The first is ABR, or Accredited Buyer Representative. The second is CBR, Certified Buyer Representative. It is very desirable that a Buyer Agent have one of these designations. It shows that an agent is well versed in the rules and practices of protecting Buyer Clients. And, the fact that they took the trouble to get a Buyer Agent accreditation bodes well for you.
It’s a good idea to look for these 5 things before you seriously consider working with any Buyer Agent. They ensure that all the agents on your list of potentials are good Buyer Agents. And, how do you kick it up a notch and find a GREAT Buyer Agent? By looking for the things that make an agent a great fit for you. We’ll talk about how to do that in our next post.
When you are ready to look for a Buyer Agent, contact Chris at 857-829-0282 or Chris@Isellmass.com. Chris has all 5 things listed in this post…and more!