Choosing a real estate agent to represent you in a home purchase or sale is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during one of the largest financial transactions in your life. The right Los Angeles real estate agent will have the experience, knowledge, and connections to ensure you get the best deal while avoiding frustrations and costly mistakes.
Interview Several Candidates
Rather than just going with the first real estate agent you meet or picking a name off a bus bench, take the time to interview at least three experienced Los Angeles real estate agents before making your selection. Expect the interview process to take some time as you dig into their background, current listings, and track record brokering deals similar to yours.
Some key questions to ask prospective real estate agents include:
- How long have you been in residential real estate sales in the Los Angeles area? Look for 5+ years of experience.
- What specific neighborhoods and price points are you most experienced with? Their expertise should align with the property and price range you’re aiming for.
- What is your track record for successfully auctioning homes above asking price? High selling prices depend greatly on an agent’s marketing savvy, negotiation skills and industry connections.
- What percentage of your business comes from repeat customers and referrals? This speaks to their customer service and satisfaction rates.
- What distinctive value do you provide compared to other Los Angeles real estate agents? Perhaps they have unique selling propositions like an international clientele base, relocation expertise, auction experience, strong social media marketing skills or exclusive high-end listings.
Verify Licensing and Credentials
Before committing to work with any real estate professional, verify they have an active license in good standing and no history of disciplinary issues. The California Bureau of Real Estate website lets you search for license status, original issue date, license renewal due date and any enforcement actions against a broker or salesperson.
Also, check for Realtor membership in the National Association of Realtors which requires adherence to a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Review ratings and reviews for the agent online checking Google, Yelp, and other sites. While no agent will have all 5-star reviews, pay attention to any consistent issues called out.
Integrity and Communication Style
Buying or selling a home can often involve high stress and heavy workloads. You’ll want to work with a real estate agent who not only has the experience to competently handle all details, but also puts you at ease with their integrity, responsiveness, and communication style.
During interviews, pay attention not just to their answers, but evaluate their listening skills, transparency, and ability to explain unfamiliar terms or processes in understandable language. Make sure you feel comfortable and confident placing your trust in this professional during a transaction as emotionally and financially significant as a home sale or purchase.
Confirm Area Expertise
While most real estate agents have experience across a variety of neighborhoods and housing types, you generally want to work with someone intimately familiar with where you currently live or hope to move.
Local expertise translates into valuable insight on pricing, desirability of specific streets, and competitive dynamics block-by-block. It also typically comes with a preexisting farm of buyer and seller prospects already interested in homes in that target locale.
Drive around a prospective Los Angeles real estate agent’s current listings to get a sense of the types of homes they sell. This also conveniently provides a preview of homes in your price range. Notice if their listed homes seem updated with attractive photos, thorough descriptions, and correct details.
Clear Agreement on Services
Before officially signing with a real estate professional, make sure you understand and formally agree on the specific services you can expect them to provide. Will they represent you exclusively or potentially act on behalf of the buyer/seller as well? Make sure you agree on communication frequency, marketing plans, paperwork expectations and ideal timelines.
Also, nail down their fee structure and compensation from the outset so there are no surprises or misunderstandings later. Realtor commission rates are typically 5-6%, often split between selling and buying agents. Many agents discount some commissions on higher-priced homes.
Trust But Verify
While you want a real estate agent you can trust, it’s smart to verify claims about their experience, marketing reach, and industry prominence. Don’t just take their word about having sold more Los Angeles real estate than anyone last year – look it up on databases like TrendGraphix.
When they claim hundreds of thousands of online followers and social media authority– check their profiles and engagement levels across Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Review industry awards and recognition like Top Producer designations by reputable organizations like the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Go With Your Gut
In the end, choosing a real estate agent relies heavily on instinct just as buying a home does. You want someone you personally connect with, whose style aligns with your own, and who you can trust to represent your best interests. They should be accessible, responsive, hardworking, and passionate about the business.
Take your time, and do your due diligence beforehand, but go with your gut feelings during interviews. The most experienced, decorated Los Angeles real estate agent with all the awards and listings will ultimately not be the right fit if your personalities don’t mesh or communication falters.
The choice of a real estate agent has huge implications for transaction experience, pricing, and timelines. But finding and vetting candidates thoroughly avoids entrusting one of life’s largest financial moves to the wrong person. Take the time upfront to conduct interviews and verification to confidently move forward with someone ready to fight tirelessly in your corner.RSR Real Estate
stays on top of shifts in Los Angeles real estate market conditions so clients can make fully informed decisions. Contact RSR to connect with an agent equipped to provide five-star service tailored to your specific home buying or selling needs.