finding the right agent: where to start
There are plenty of places to find great agents in your local area. Referrals are a great starting place. At Homebloq, we strongly recommend buyers meet for coffee and chat with a minimum three to five agents to get a sense of their working style, their process, brokerage and team, and tools. A great agent can make a big difference in the process, and for buyers, using a buyer’s agent costs you nothing out of pocket. Outside of acquaintances, here are a few tools to use to help find and connect with local agents. While technology makes it easy to find agents, nothing beats sitting down over a cup of coffee to let them sell you on what makes them the right fit for you throughout this process.
Zillow, Trulia (owned by Zillow), Realtor.com, and other sites contain directories of agents to search by location, name, and more. While these sites contain little information in helping you efficiently find the right agent for you, they’re helpful to read reviews and see past transactions of those you’ve met (for example, at an open house) or have been referred.
Sites such as Homelight ask buyers to complete a basic questionnaire about their timeline, desired neighborhood and home type, price point and more to compare to agents on the platform who have bought or sold homes that match that criteria. Homelight then recommends a few brokers that best ‘fit’ your answers and offers to connect the buyer and agent. This comes at no cost to the buyer (the agent pays Homelight a referral fee based on the agent’s commission).
Other Unique Avenues
Other avenues include attending and connecting with agents at open houses, attending learning events hosted by agents and brokerages, or using services like UpNest that collect bids from agents based on your home buying goals and organize them into nicely packaged PDFs for you to easily comparison shop between agents.
Why Past Transaction Volume Is Not the Same As High Quality
One thing to note with services like Homelight is these companies use algorithms based on, among other things, past transactions that do not necessarily equate with high quality. Unfortunately, Homelight needs to collect your personal information before sharing their recommendations and this at times can feel spammy. Nonetheless, accepting invitations from agents to do an introductory call should be part of every buyer’s due diligence.