Even after you’ve made the big decision to buy a home, there are still other choices you’ll have to make as you’re looking for the perfect place. One of the first tasks you’ll need to accomplish is finding the right realtor to assist you in your house hunting efforts. There are countless real estate professionals out there, but you must separate the good from the bad to make the home buying process run smoothly. Here’s why a qualified realtor is important and some pointers on what to look for.

A Good Realtor is Critical for Several Reasons 

  • Your realtor is your fiduciary: A fiduciary is contractually bound to act on your behalf during the process of house hunting, price negotiations, closing and other matters that come up when you’re buying a home. A realtor has your best interests in mind, so he or she can offer advice on the financial aspects of the transaction.
  • Real estate laws are complex and always changing: Experienced realtors possess expertise in the law regarding real estate transactions, even though they’re not necessarily attorneys. The regulations governing the home buying process are complicated and constantly changing. So, without an extensive background in these procedures, you can make costly mistakes.
  • A good realtor knows the market: You likely have a wish list of items you’d like to see in your new home, such as number of bedrooms, location and features. A realtor knows what homes fit your needs and keeps your budget in mind. 

Qualities to Look for in a Realtor 

  • Communication: A good realtor will communicate often with you during the house hunting process, letting you know about properties that may interest you and setting up appointments. He or she should also be willing to answer questions and offer advice on the process.
  • Motivation: You want to choose a realtor who is truly passionate about real estate and finding clients their dream home. Make sure your realtor is motivated and proactive during the home buying process. You should be getting frequent calls to view properties that fit your wish list – not be reaching out to your realtor when you haven’t heard from him or her in several days.
  • Flexibility: The real estate market can move quite quickly, so your realtor needs to be flexible enough to accommodate your needs. Real estate professionals should also be flexible in terms of timing, working nights and weekends as necessary to adapt to your schedule.
  • Client-driven: Realtors must place a priority on your needs in finding the right home for you, above their own interests in earning commission. A great realtor is client-driven – not just in it to cash a paycheck. 

Buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s important to go with the best real estate professional you can find. A good one can make the home buying process less overwhelming, while a bad one can ruin the experience – and put you in a place that doesn’t fit your needs.