Housing Counselor’s Corner: Find the Real Estate Agent that’s Right for You

One of the most important decisions you will make on your home buying journey is which real estate agent/agency you will work with.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, choosing one can be a daunting task, but we’re here to help.

Once you have been pre-qualified or pre-approved for a home loan, your next step is to choose a real estate agent to help you find a home that fits your budget and tastes.

It is important to be selective and do your due diligence when researching real estate agents.

Every year, the National Association of Realtors comes up with statistics about real estate agents and agencies all across the country. Nearly every year the organization finds that about 75% of all homebuyers work with the first real estate agent they meet.

Your job as the buyer is to determine the best real estate agent for you. After all, this will be one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

How to find an agent

The best way to find an agent may be by word of mouth. Ask friends and family members who have recently purchased homes who they used.

You can also begin your search for a real estate agent by visiting the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) website and searching for a real estate agent.

Once you find a real estate agent you want to work with, do your research. Check websites and reviews.

You should also feel free to ask for references so that you can further explore their experience.

Watch our video with Michelle Tanner, Housing Counselor and Loan Program Administrator, discussing how to choose the right real estate agent.

Other factors to consider

You should also consider the following when choosing a real estate agent.

  • Coverage area: Where does the real estate agent sell homes?
  • Communication preference: Do you prefer communicating in-person, on the phone or via email? Choose a real estate agent who shares a similar preference or communication style.
  • Agent’s specialty: If you speak with an agent, check their website and see which homes they have recently listed or sold.  The home type and sales price range of their recently listed or sold homes will help you know if they are experienced in selling the type of home you want.  It will also tell you if they typically work in the price range you are looking.   

At the end of the day, you need an agent that is going to represent your best interest and negotiate on your behalf. So ask lots of questions, keep a positive attitude and don’t be afraid to ask for what YOU want.