When buying or selling your home in San Antonio, finding the best local Realtor to guide you through the process can save you money and headaches. While you can purchase or sell your home in San Antonio without an agent's help, working with a Realtor who's well-versed in the nuances of the market can ensure you get the best possible deal.
But with thousands of agents vying for your business via online ads, newspaper listings, and yard signs, finding the right one can feel overwhelming. Follow these tips on how to find the perfect real estate agent for your home purchase or sale in San Antonio, even as a seasoned homeowner or first-time homebuyer.
1. Get Referrals from Friends & Family
Has anyone you know bought or sold a house recently? Ask which Realtor they used and whether they had a good experience. You can read about an agent online, but talking to someone you trust can give you a better sense of whether you'll have a good experience with an agent.
Ideally, you'll get two or three recommendations. Meet with each one before you make a decision. See which agent matches your style, listens to what you have to say, and understands what you're looking for.
Expert Tip: Personal referrals can provide legit Realtor recommendations, but we don’t recommend working with a listing agent just because they helped a family member or friend. You need to thoroughly vet and compare referred agents with at least a few other agents from other sources to make an informed decision.
2. Search Online
In this day and age, finding real estate agents is only an online search away. For example, simply typing "real estate agents in Mission Del Lago in San Antonio" into any search engine will yield a list of real estate agents in Mission Del Lago, San Antonio.
Examine their website and social media pages, as well as their online reviews and home closing stats. One or two unfavorable reviews aren't a big deal, but more than that could be a red flag.
Expert Tip: Agents who you find in these searches could be ones who have paid companies to be featured on different websites. Be sure that any sites you trust for referrals is legitimate and trustworthy.
3. Interview Potential Agents
Once you've identified a few excellent agents in San Antonio, set aside some time to interview them. An interview allows you to understand the agent's personality and experience.
During the interview, pay attention to how the agents respond. Do they provide you with specific, factual answers to your interview questions? Beware of agents who respond with vague answers. You want someone who communicates clearly, has the right experience, and matches your personality.
Additionally, look for evidence that they understand the San Antonio market, such as mentioning a new La Fiesta grocery shop or the Paesanos restaurant opening down the street. Knowledgeable agents know how to market your home to buyers and get it sold for the highest price or provide you with important local information to help you make a more informed purchase.
Expert Tip: When interviewing real estate agents it is important that you find out their knowledge of the San Antonio market, communication skills, marketing strategy, and past home sale history.
4. Request References
Anyone who has tried to sell something will tell you that word-of-mouth is everything. And, when it comes to real estate agents, nothing beats a recommendation from a reliable source. If you hear fantastic things about a realtor from a friend or family member, it could be a hint that the agent is worth your time.
However, if you're going in blind, request references and testimonials to get a sense of their work. They may provide you with a list of people they've recently sold homes to and contact information. Write down a few questions, then call or email some buyers or sellers. When cross-checking an agent's references, use the following questions as a starting point.
What was the frequency and mode of your communication?
Would you recommend them to your parents?
What was your experience using this Realtor for your out-of-state home purchase?
Were they knowledgeable about the current San Antonio market?
What were some of the challenges you faced working with XYZ?
Expert Tip: Before you hire a real estate agent, it’s important to make sure the agent is a great fit both professionally and personally. Cross-checking references can help you solidify the references as well as the relationship with your potential agent.
5. Look for San Antonio Real Estate Awards
Another way to narrow your search for a Realtor in San Antonio is by checking an agent's website and resume for awards. You can also run a Google search for a list of agents in the San Antonio area who have won awards from the local or state branch of the National Association of Realtors. These types of peer awards strongly indicate that the agent has high standing within their community — and probably will represent you well.
Some San Antonio real estate awards to consider are the Cartus Broker Service Award, Platinum Top 50, and most especially, the San Antonio Board of Realtors awards, as it is based on a vote of a Realtor's peers.
However, realize that it may also indicate a very busy Realtor who may not be the right choice if you'd like more individual attention. Therefore, when looking for an agent in San Antonio, you should look beyond the awards and local recognition.
Expert Tip: While peer-given awards are a great indication of an agent’s value to their immediate community and clients, it is important that you do not base your hiring decision solely on that. Look out for their communication skills, experience in your property type, and marketing skills.
6. Be Honest With Your Realtor
A Realtor’s job is to understand your wants, needs, and vision for your home. For them to garner a complete picture, you’ll have to be honest with them. Perhaps they are communicating poorly, dismissive of your preferences, or lack the right skills.
If, along the way, you decide the working relationship is not progressing as you think it should, give them a call and let them know. They may be able to rectify the situation quickly.
Expert Tip: One of the best ways to be honest with your Realtor is by being open with your housing needs and goals. Tell your Realtor what you want in a house, your location, your budget, and what works for you.