At Home with Yelp: Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or moving into a new home, the homebuying process can be a lengthy, exhausting and complicated journey. From finding the right real estate agent to getting a home inspector to finding a real estate attorney, the road to homeownership can be long. Having the right help along the way can make all the difference so we asked our Home Editor Lauren Makk how to find the right experts and what to ask.

Lauren, what are the things people should look out for when selecting a real estate agent?

LM: Every state has licensing requirements for real estate agents. When you’re searching for an agent, make sure that they have the appropriate licenses and certifications for your future home. If you know you want a home in a specific area, try finding an agent who specializes in selling homes there, who may have the inside scoop on upcoming listings. In a competitive market it’s nice to have an agent who is familiar with the buyers AND sellers.

What questions should we ask when we’re requesting a quote from a real estate agent?

LM: Yelp’s Request a Quote feature lets you send the same message to up to 10 different real estate agents. Here are a few questions to ask to help streamline the process and make sure you’re finding the right real estate agent for your home search:

  • How long have you been in the real estate business? Are you a buying agent or selling agent or a broker?
  • How many other buyers and/or sellers are you currently working with?
  • What percentage of clients are looking to buy or sell in this neighborhood?
  • What do you charge?
  • What kind of guarantee do you offer?

Once you’ve narrowed down your prospects to a few candidates, don’t be afraid to ask for references, talk to previous clients and thoroughly read Yelp reviews to help make a final decision.

Interior design and life stylist, Lauren Makk is Yelp’s new Home Editor. You may recognize Lauren from TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” ABCs “FAB Life” and OWN’s “Home Made Simple.” Now as a part of the Yelp family, she’ll be sharing how you can use Yelp to create incredible, affordable transformations in your home. You can find more tips from Lauren here.