Buying a home for the first time comes with a long checklist of things that you'll want to make sure you stay on top of. But one of the most important decisions you can make will likely come before you look at the first house, and that's selecting the right real estate agency. Here's what to look for in a real estate agency if you've never purchased a house before.
Find an Agency That Specializes in Specific Neighborhoods
Sure, you could just search for any real estate agency in general that's within a certain radius of your local city. But finding the right real estate often involves finding the right neighborhood first. Figure out exactly where in the surrounding area you want to live and then find a real estate agency that is especially familiar with that specific area. You'll be able to get an insider's point of view on what makes things tick, and maybe some additional information on the local school or community events.
Check for References and Awards
Most real estate agencies are perfectly fine with providing references to potential new clients. Reach out to your real estate agency of choice and inquire about a references list. Many agencies even post references directly on their website so you don't need to go any further than that. If your real estate agency is particularly successful, they might post about various awards they've won or display them in their office. Awards and references aren't everything, of course, but a proven track record of success is certainly a good starting point.
Seek Out an Agency That Works with First Time Buyers
Of course, just about any agency will be open to helping a first time buyer, but some agencies place special emphasis on helping people through this special life milestone. A good real estate agent or agency might be able to refer you to the best place in town to get a mortgage or might be able to better prepare you for the legalese you will find in the contract at your first closing.
Buying a first home is a big step in anyone's life. Go into it with someone by your side by finding a real estate agency that will work with you every step of the way. A local agent who specializes in your favorite neighborhood, has great references, and maybe even an award or two is a great starting point for your search.