Whether it’s your first home or you’re selling and relocating to another area, purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions you can make. Finding a great realtor that has the right experience and methods to guide you through the process is key to making sure everything goes smoothly.
[Related: Guide to Buying a Home in Seattle]
Steps for Finding the Best Realtor in Seattle
Realtors aren’t hard to find — just look around your neighborhood and you’re bound to see a sign or flyer advertising someone’s services — but selecting the best realtor out of so many options might seem overwhelming. Here are some methods for finding the best realtor in your area.
Specialized websites such as Homelight.com or the “Find a Realtor” tool on Realtor.com are great ways to search for a realtor that fits your criteria. These sites can help you filter through hundreds of real estate agents, and some even provide reviews and other important metrics to help you make your decision.
Use a Referral Program
Use a referral program in your area that can vet for the best local realtors, such as the Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program.
Talk to your friends and family who have recently gone through the home-buying process and see who they recommend. You can also reach out and get referrals from people living in your neighborhood or your potential neighborhood.
Social media posts are also a great way to source information and let people know you’re looking for a realtor that they can recommend.
[Related: How to Buy Off-Market Homes]
Look Out for Current Signs
Pay attention to current real estate signage in the area you’re looking to relocate to. Take note of the names on the signs and follow up to see if any of these agents could be the right person to talk to when it comes to purchasing your next home.
Attend Open Houses
This one’s simple, and can give you a good idea of the type of real estate agent (and home) you’re looking for. Attend open houses in the community and see if you can connect with a realtor that you might want to work with.
What to Look for in a Realtor
Once you find a list of possible realtors, it’s time to narrow them down to find the perfect realtor for your specific needs. From certifications to social media presence, here’s what to look for when considering a certain realtor.
Find out if your potential realtor has any awards or certifications under their belt. Peer-given awards, such the National Association of Realtors’ Good Neighbor or Distinguished Service Award, show that your realtor is held in high esteem by professionals in their field, which is a great endorsement. Locally, Seattle King County Realtors have a similar awards system.
[Related: Tips for Budgeting How Much Home You Can Afford]
Credentials and Certifications
Ask about any professional credentials, certifications, or designations your realtor might have earned.
Some designations include:
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative)
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist)
If your potential realtor has put in the time and hard work to go above and beyond for their career, and has been recognized for it by their peers, chances are they’re a great choice.
License and Complaints
In the state of Washington, a realtor’s license and any disciplinary actions or complaints are publicly available online. Visit the Washington State Department of Licensing to ensure your realtor is licensed with a clean history.
Check out your potential agent’s current listings online.
Do they reflect the location and type of property you’re looking to purchase? Do they have enough listings to indicate a healthy business, but not so many that they’re spreading themselves too thin?
You’ll want to find a realtor with an attractive online presence and whose current portfolio aligns with your own homeownership goals.
[Related: Homebuyers: Seal the Deal With a Winning Letter to the Seller]
Speaking of online presence, don’t forget to look up the realtor in question on social media.
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will not only give you an idea of how they present themselves to the public, but can also be a great place to find reviews and interactions between your potential realtor and others in your community.
You should be looking for a realtor who has good customer service skills — they should be professional, prompt with their communication, and respectful.
[Related: Important Tips for Millennial Homebuyers]
Let Seattle Mortgage Planners Help
With so many sources for realtors, finding the perfect one for your homeownership goals in Seattle can seem like an immense undertaking. Hopefully our guide will help you determine the right realtor for your unique journey toward your new home.
Seattle Mortgage Planners can help first-time homebuyers and experienced homeowners with everything from loan options to Seattle neighborhood research, and everything in between.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and find out how we can help you through this exciting process.