Looking for a new home in Kansas City?
Whether you’re moving down the street, or are brand new to the Paris of the Plains, buying a new home in Kansas City is an exciting milestone— but it takes a fair amount of work! That’s where the helping hand of a trusty real estate agent comes in. But how do you find the right one? Choosing your ideal real estate agent is a straightforward process if you know how to go about getting there. Here are some of our top tips:
- Know the Basic Requirements
Before you choose a real estate agent, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with their required credentials. All Missouri real estate agents have their license, which requires them to:
- Be over the age of 18
- Have had their fingerprints professionally taken and submitted
- Pass a series of pre-exams— unless they are a licensed attorney or agent in another jurisdiction
When you choose your agent you can ask them about their credentials and licensing— in fact, you should.
- Learn the Signs of a Good (or Not-so-Good) Real Estate Agent
Not all real estate agents operate in the same manner! The truth is, there are lots of fantastic real estate agents across Kansas City waiting to help you find your dream home—but there might be a few duds out there too. Given how many great agents exist in this city, it’d be silly not to work with one of them. Be on the lookout for a good real estate agent with the following signs:
- They are easy to both contact and communicate with— always.
- They have a good track record and previous happy clients— this is something you can definitely ask about. Agents with happy customers will generally be thrilled to pass some references your way.
- They work with a team, agency, or affiliated office.
- They are knowledgeable and passionate about the real estate industry.
- They are organized and reliable, never scattered and forgetful.
- Ask Lots of Questions
Whether this is your first home buying experience or not, it’s likely that you’ll have some questions about the process. Your real estate agent should be your point of contact for all of those queries or concerns— and they should be up to date in their knowledge of the real estate industry and laws of Kansas and Missouri.
- Get the Reassurance that you Need
Selling your home or buying a new one doesn’t only require a ton of emotional and physical energy, it also calls for a lot of paperwork! The forms and applications that you fill out over the process of buying or selling a home are extensive— and it contains a large amount of your personal data. With catastrophic data breaches like Equifax still hitting the headlines, it’s obvious to many Americans that identity theft crime on the rise across the country, and the world. This can be an intimidating concept to many homebuyers, who may feel uncomfortable submitting so much of their sensitive data to an agency. Yes, identity theft can happen in the real estate world— but with a trustworthy and organized real estate agent, your chances of it happening to you are very slim. Talk to your potential real estate agents about the precautions that they take against client data and identity theft. Be sure to ask them about:
- Which IT companies they are working with— after all, those companies have access to all of their files, which contain yours and likely several hundred other customers’ sensitive data.
- Which software and management systems they use— newer versions tend to have better firewalls and protection.
- How they are storing your data— are they keeping it locked away in a password protected folder? Is it encrypted? Who has access to your information besides them?
- How you’ll turn your information over— in general, we recommend that homebuyers submit their applications in person, rather than digitally or through the mail.
Ultimately, buying a house should be an exciting process – you’re finding your new home, after all! Find a real estate agent that knows the area, knows your needs, and takes care of your personal data and you’re well on your way to finding your dream home.
This is a guest post written by Sam Casteris.