All of your hard work and long hours while serving our nation are about to pay off: you’ve decided to contact a VA Loan Specialist (loan officer) about buying your first home! Once your loan officer has guided you through the pre-approval process, your house hunting journey can begin.
Now, there’s one key factor that will be essential to your journey – finding the right Realtor for you. Check out the tips for hiring a Realtor below.
1. Interview prospective agents
Ask three crucial questions:
- How many years of experience does the agent have in this profession?
- Is the agent doing this full-time or part-time?
- What is their strategy for a buyer in the current market?
2. Choose an expert
It’s imperative that an agent is an expert in the neighborhoods you are searching. As a buyer, you want a real estate agent who will work hard to find you the right property, and use their skills to make it happen with the best deal. You need an agent who stays on top of the market and is a savvy negotiator.
3. Ask for referrals
When choosing your real estate agent, ask family and friends for referrals of agents who have recently helped them with a purchase and had an excellent experience in the process. Even if the agent is recommended, ask for a list of client referrals that you can call or email.
4. Pick one agent
It’s bad practice to have many different realtors working for you at once. In fact, some will request that you sign an exclusive agreement.
Sherrie Au, Realtor at Locations Hawaii discusses the important matter of “Agency” in the real estate business:
“An ‘Agent’ has a fiduciary duty to his or her clients, which entails legal obligations that a real estate professional should take seriously. It’s in the home buyer’s best interest to understand the agency relationship. I always make it a point to discuss this early in the initial consultation meeting. I explain that if I am their agent and they are my client, I owe them a duty of obedience, loyalty, disclosure, confidentiality, accounting and care. At the end of the consultation I ask the home buyers if they feel comfortable with me and if they want to work with me. I explain that I only work with clients who want to work with me exclusively. If they say yes, I ask them to ratify that with a Buyer Representation Agreement, which authorizes me to represent them in their home purchase,” says Au.
5. Choose well
A Realtor should be considerate of your home buying desires and your budget.
“When I see a happy buyer, I often ask why they chose their agent,” says Andrea Kia, Broker-in-Charge and Co-Owner of Homequest Hawaii. “If most things are equal during the interviews, buyers usually choose someone they feel comfortable with and relate to, along with listening to their needs. After all, you are going to be spending a lot of time with this person and you should feel at ease. Good agents don’t pressure you into making a purchase that isn’t right for you or over your budget. They do guide you in the right direction and are assertive when necessary. They should put your needs first and ‘have your back.’ A professional, ethical and knowledgeable agent can be your greatest asset in the home buying process,” says Kia.
If you don’t have an exceptional Realtor in mind, our team will be happy to refer you to one! Contact us at 808-792-4251 or fill out our online application. We look forward to hearing from you!