Shopping for a Columbus Real Estate Agent

An overwhelming majority of homebuyers work with a Columbus real estate agent. Why? The home buying process is complicated and drawn out over a period of several weeks or more. Working with a realtor saves you time, stress and money. Your Columbus real estate agent advises and guides you step-by-step through the process, and will be an invaluable aid during the negotiations phase once you’ve found the home of your dreams.

Before you find the right home, though, you have to find the right Columbus real estate agent. Here’s how:

Consider working with a buyer’s agent. Agents can represent buyers, sellers or even both (dual representation). A buyer’s agent will represent the buyer only. Most agents switch from one type of representation to another, depending upon whether the client is buying or selling a property. But some agents specialize in just one type of representation. This means they won’t have to deal with conflicts of interest (e.g., representing a buyer interested in a property that they have also listed for a seller). An exclusive buyer’s agent only works with buyers.

Either type of Realtor will bargain for you, arrange viewings, facilitate home inspections, negotiate contingencies and assist you throughout the entire process from the initial search through the closing. She is there to look out for your best interests.

Find agents in your area. Your initial connection with a Realtor will most often come through a referral. If you have friends in the area who recently purchased homes, ask them who they worked with, did they like the agent, and would they work with her again? If you’re buying in an area you’ll be moving to, ask your new employer for an initial reference. Three good online resources for finding Realtors are, and

Check them out. Go online and read the bios of the agents whose names you’ve been given. See what certifications they have, and if they’ve won any awards or distinctions. In rural areas in particular, the best Realtors will be invested in their communities in other ways.

Visit the Columbus real estate agents websites and check out their endorsements from recent clients. Then make an appointment to meet with one or more who seem like good possibilities.

Interview the agent. Good agents are comfortable being interviewed and will come prepared. You should come prepared, too. Ask questions like:

  • How much of your business is residential or commercial? You want someone who primarily or exclusively does residential work.
  • How much of your business is for the buyer and how much for the seller? The more experience they have working with buyers like you, the better.
  • Is real estate your full-time work? You want someone committed to real estate, and if they are doing some other line of work as well, they are either new to the business or not effective enough at it.
  • How much of your business is by referral? Great Realtors have a high percentage of referrals since past clients were highly satisfied with their work.
  • How many years have you been in real estate? Young Realtors can be good at their jobs, but there is great comfort and a sense of confidence working with a seasoned professional.
  • What was the average selling price of the homes you sold last year? You want this figure to be relatively close to the price of home you’re looking to purchase.
  • How many homes did you close last year and how many have you closed so far this year? It’s good if the Realtor’s business has stayed fairly steady over time, but even better if it has grown. Of course, you have to factor in market conditions.
  • How many other clients are you actively working with right now? You want someone who is popular enough to have an active client base, but not so busy that she can’t spend solid chunks of time with you.

A good Realtor will take this meeting as an opportunity to learn about you, just as you are assessing her. She will ask you questions like why you’re buying and what you’re looking for. She’ll also ask if you’ve been pre-approved for a loan. The relationship between a Realtor and client can be intense at times, especially once offers for homes are made. You’ll be spending a lot of time with each other over a period of several weeks or more.

Realtors work on commission, which means they don’t get any money for their work if there’s no closing. Therefore, it’s not in anyone’s interest to work together if the relationship isn’t a good match. A good Columbus real estatate agent is confident enough in her abilities that she will not shy away from saying if her areas of expertise do not overlap with your needs or if she doesn’t think she can best serve you.

On the other hand, Realtors love to close on properties. If she thinks you’ll be a good match working together, she’ll be excited to do so and will work tirelessly for you.

Call Susanne at 614-975-9650 to set up an interview and help you start the home buying process!