How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

Looking for a Real Estate Agent Near Me? Our guide will help you find the right Real Estate Agent, research them, and make an informed decision.

When you’re ready to buy or sell your home, having a real estate agent by your side for your real estate transaction to create your real estate listing, open house, and closing is an effective way to get the most out of your home sale or purchase. Having a realtor can give you info to make the buying or selling process less stressful, save time, and ensure you get the best possible outcome for your real estate transaction.

A good seller’s agent will list your home at a reasonable price range, organize your open house, give you a searchable listing on the MLS, and give your bottom line a better outcome. You’ll want to find real estate companies with excellent appraisal services to get the most value for selling your home. Here’s your step-by-step guide to hiring a real estate agent and finding the best mortgage lender in Oregon.

Benefits of Hiring a Real Estate Agent or Brokerage Firm

Before we review the steps to hiring a realtor or seller’s agent and finding a lender for your purchase, let’s review the benefits of hiring a realtor. Yes, you can DIY and sell your home by owner, but do you want to go through the hassle and extra time to sell your home? What sale price should you list your home for? Who are the other potential buyers in your market? What is your home equity? Do you want to do the research yourself? Are you sure of all the legal implications of a real estate transaction?

Real Estate Agent Near Me

Unless you are an excellent salesperson, a realtor selling your home, or a seller’s agent, your answer will most likely be “no.” However, hiring a real estate agent or brokerage firm is smart for your real estate transactions as they understand how to navigate the ever-changing commercial and residential real estate market. You want a listing service that is experienced and knows the housing market.

Extensive Knowledge

Realtors and seller’s agents have extensive knowledge and expertise in the real estate industry, including local market trends, pricing, and negotiation skills. A good realtor can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the buying or selling process.

Network of Resources

In addition to their extensive knowledge of the area, homes, and commercial real estate, realtors have access to a network of resources, including other realtors on their team, lenders, appraisers, and inspectors. A resourceful realtor working in your best interest can leverage these resources to help you find the right property, negotiate the best price, and ensure a smooth transaction.

Negotiation Skills

Lastly, one of the best benefits of having a realtor on your side is hiring a skilled negotiator that can get the best possible price for your property or find the best property within your home-buying budget.

How to Find a Quality Realtor? A Step-by-Step Guide

Because buying or selling a property is extremely time-consuming, your experienced realtor or associate broker can handle much of the legwork for you, including researching properties, scheduling showings, and handling paperwork, saving you hours of time and significant stress. Realtors and local brokers can work together with you to ensure that all legal requirements are met and that your interests are protected.

1: Are You Buying? Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage

couple getting pre-approved for mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is smart when buying the right home. Why? Because when you’re pre-approved for a home loan, you understand your home-buying budget and know how much house you can afford, which will expedite the home-buying process, saving you time.

In addition, getting pre-approved for your mortgage avoids delays in purchasing your home and will give you an advantage in landing the home of your dreams – especially if you’re in a bidding war with other prospective and prospective buyers! The most effective way to avoid disappointment and identify potential issues affecting your ability to get a mortgage or waiting on your mortgage to be approved when buying a home is to get pre-approved before you choose a real estate agent or broker in Oregon.

2: Talk to and Choose a Lender

Professional licensed and experienced real estate agent in McMinnville Oregon

Before you choose a real estate agent, you’ll want to shop around and find the best mortgage lending company for your situation. If you’re a veteran or in the military, you can receive a VA-backed Veteran Home Loan from the government. A veteran home loan may offer better terms than traditional home loans. For example, nearly 90% of VA-backed loans are made with no down payment. 

If you’re not a veteran, you can also take advantage of other specialty loans if you’re a member of a specific demographic group. For example, Native Americans can benefit from Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee program. With Section 184 financing, borrowers can get into a home with a low-down payment and flexible underwriting. Section 184 loans can be used, both on and off native lands, for new construction, rehabilitation, purchase of an existing home, or refinancing your current home.

Do your research if you belong to a specific club, group, or demographic to see if you qualify for a specialty loan. If you need a more traditional loan, come talk to us! We’re happy to find the best type of loan for your new home purchase or construction.

3: Do You Want a Realtor or a Broker?

Family choosing between a Realtor and a Broker

You’ll also want to decide if you’re looking for a realtor or a broker. A realtor is licensed to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. They work under a real estate broker’s supervision and typically earn commission fees based on the property’s sale price.

A real estate broker is also licensed to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Still, they have completed additional education and experience requirements beyond those of a real estate agent. In addition, a broker can operate their own real estate brokerage and employ other agents. Therefore, a broker has a higher level of education and experience to obtain their license. However, agents and brokers are licensed real estate professionals who can work with you as a buyer or seller in real estate transactions.

4: Do Your Research

Home Buyer checking real estate agent references

Not all realtors or real estate companies have the same level of experience, real estate license, knowledge, and expertise. Researching an agent’s background, qualifications, and track record can lead you to find the best-qualified agent who knows the details of the local market and can find you the best real estate investment for your money.

Because real estate transactions are often the largest financial transactions people make in their lifetimes, working with a reputable agent with a history of ethical behavior can protect you and your family’s financial interests. Due to the financial gravity of purchasing real estate, you’ll want to find excellent real estate professionals who understand real estate sales. Researching an agent’s track record of success gives you a short list of realtors with a proven track record of maximizing profits for their clients.

Lastly, doing the legwork and researching real estate professionals or brokers with a background in real estate sales you’d like to work with will greatly reduce the chances of being scammed in your real estate transaction, as you can find out more about their code of ethics.

Tip: Referrals from Friends and Family
Real Estate Agent Advice from Family

You’ll want to narrow your realtor search by asking friends and family who have dealt with or have experience with agents in the area where you are looking to buy your home. This aspect is extremely important because you don’t want an agent who isn’t familiar with local zoning, housing restrictions, or the ability to have a vacation rental because you may end up purchasing a home that isn’t well suited for your needs!

Having a local real estate agent with a team behind them who understands the area, what you can and can’t do with your home, your water rights and zoning exceptions for tax purposes is key to finding the home that is right for you and your family.

You also want to ensure the expert realtor you choose clicks with your personality and has your best interests in mind. Remember, this person will be your “best friend” for the next few months while buying or selling a home, but your relationship with your home will last much longer.

Questions to Ask
Young couple using realtor for home buying in Oregon

When researching the list of potential candidates from your referrals list, find out what experience and how many years of experience the realtor has in the type of real estate sales you’re looking to purchase.

For example:

  • What’s their track record with communication and customer service?
  • Do they have Google reviews for their agency or team?
  • Are they a member of the local chamber of commerce? 
  • What additional services do they offer a first-time home buyer?

In addition, you’ll want to see a copy of their contract while you’re shopping to compare their contract with another agent. You may also want to have the contract reviewed by a real estate law attorney with a reputable track record to ensure its validity and to check for loopholes. Lastly, you’ll want to know how much the agent or broker charges for their service. What percent of the sales do they receive when you utilize their services?

Suppose the agent or broker you’re speaking with isn’t transparent with their answers, or you don’t get a good feeling from them. In that case, that’s a red flag, and you’ll want to interview other candidates to find a professional who’s a better fit.

Step 5: Request and Check References

Home Buyer checking real estate agent references

Requesting references is essential in hiring a real estate agent as it provides critical decision-making information about the agent’s past performance, work style, and credentials. Above all, don’t just request references; call and speak to them directly!

Checking references also allows you to evaluate their ability to meet deadlines and communicate effectively on behalf of their clients. Make sure to ask the references the agent gives you about their experience working with the buyer’s agent and whether they were satisfied with the agent’s services.

  • Ask what aspects of working with the agent they liked best and what, if any, mistakes the agent made.
  • Do they have disciplinary actions against them?
  • Did the agent or broker do their best to remedy the mistakes?

While professionals can make mistakes, you’ll want to find out how they handled the mistake and moved forward with the home sale or purchase.

A big red flag – an agent or broker you don’t want to work with – is an agent who refuses to give you references. Even an inexperienced or new agent should be able to give you references in their network for their character. Any agent who refuses to give references is an agent you should avoid working with, especially when making one of your biggest financial life decisions.

You can learn about an agent’s values and business reputation when you speak with clients. This can help you build trust and confidence in your choice of a good real estate agent.

Step 6: Choose your Real Estate Agent

Man Shaking Hand with Real Estate Agent

Now that you’ve asked for real estate and broker referrals, have researched your agents, and checked their backgrounds, you can confidently choose your agent. Make sure to read through their contract thoroughly before you sign on with them. In addition, you can have a real estate attorney check the contract to see if it includes any clauses that do not serve your real estate buying or selling purposes.

We hope this step-by-step guide was helpful in the planning and organization of your real estate experience. Whether you’re buying or selling your Oregon or McMinnville farm, commercial property, vineyard, or residential home, our home team at McMinnville Real Estate, who is a member of the National Association of Realtors, has over 50 years of experience. We’re ready and here to show you properties that best fit your lifestyle and budget! Reach out to us today to speak to a qualified McMinnville licensed real estate agent or real estate broker.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps clients buy, sell, or rent properties. They work under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker and can be either a salesperson or an associate broker.

What is the Job Description of a Real Estate Agent?

A real estate agent or realtor helps clients buy, sell, or rent properties by providing guidance, conducting property searches, negotiating deals, and preparing necessary documents. They are licensed professionals who work to ensure their clients’ interests are represented and the transaction process is smooth and successful.

How Do I Choose a Good Real Estate Agent?

To choose a real estate agent or realtor, consider their experience, credentials, reputation, communication skills, and local knowledge. Research their past sales history, read reviews and testimonials, and interview them to ensure they are a good fit for your needs and goals in buying, selling, or renting a property.

How Much Should I Pay?

The amount a buyer or seller should expect to pay a real estate agent varies by location and the agreed-upon commission rate, typically ranging from 5-6% of the sale price. The commission is usually split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent, with the seller usually paying the commission from the sale proceeds.