How Do I Select The Right Real Estate Agent For Me?

Buying or selling a home may be the most important financial endeavor of your life, and getting it right or wrong will have a huge impact on your life. But with over 3 million active real estate licensees in America today according to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), there is certainly no shortage of agents to choose from to help you through the process. An easier decision is picking a mortgage lender in Portland; The Lindley Team has helped over 1000 men, women, couples and families achieve their dreams of homeownership. And they have some expert advice to share for you to select the right real estate agent for your journey.

Do This First: Talk To A Mortgage Lender In Portland

It seems the first route most people take when looking for a house to buy is hiring a real estate agent, and then finding a lender. You should be doing the reverse. It’s the lender who is going to be able to tell you how much you can afford, so it only makes sense to make them the first stop on your path to homeownership. Plus, a mortgage lender in Portland will be as knowledgeable if not more about current trends in the housing markets of the area and beyond, which will be important information to have before hiring a real estate agent and making an offer on a home.

Ask Around

With so many current and aspiring real estate agents in the world today, chances are that you can get referrals for a good one to meet your personal needs quite easily. Whether you are buying or selling in Portland, survey everyone you know that has done recently what you are trying to do and how they rate their experience. Anyone who was in a similar situation is especially who you need to pay attention to as first-time vs repeat buyers and sellers, and several other factors will make a difference when it comes to personalized service from a real estate agent.

You should also ask real estate agents themselves questions about recent homes they have sold or closed on, and ask them both directly and indirectly. By indirectly, not only relying on friends and acquaintances is meant, but check out their online presence, too. A strong website and their activity on social media will help to glean plenty of relevant information. Interview them one-on-one to get a feel for their style and confidence in handling business, as well as their familiarity with the market of your specific neighborhood. You can also find out if they are accredited or have any disciplinary issues through the Better Business Bureau and the state real estate regulatory agencies.

There are also different accrediting bodies and certifications to be aware of when selecting the right real estate agent for you:

National Association of Realtors – The NAR is one of the largest trade associations of American real estate industry professionals with over 1.4 million members. They also have a U.S. Trademark over the term “realtor”, and any agent who uses all capitals for “REALTOR” signifies their membership in the organization. This means they are bound by the group’s rules to abide by the National Association of Realtors practices when operating – which makes them quite trustworthy in handling your real estate transactions.

Certificates such as these will help you gauge the right real estate agent for your particular needs:

  • CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) – have received and completed training specifically in residential real estate.
  • ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative) – have received and completed training specifically in representing the buyer in their transactions.
  • SRES (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) – these are real estate agents who have received and completed training in helping buyers and sellers specifically in the ages of 50 and older.

Another thing to be aware of is that Oregon does allow “dual agency”, which means that one real estate agent can represent both the buyer and the seller of a property. In Oregon, however, this specific term is known as “disclosed limited agency”, and you should research the statute further to find out more about how this can fit into your plans or not.

Diligently Peruse Your Contract

You’ll want to study your contract with a real estate agent carefully to ensure they’re giving you what you want. You can negotiate their commission fee, which is about 6% on average – half going to each agent on either side of the deal – and should be spelled out in unambiguous terms.

The length of time stipulated in your contract should meet your expectations for how long you are willing to wait to either buy or sell. Most people want 6 months or less, but in a very fluid market homes can trade hands in less than 30 days.

The research you’ve done on your real estate agent’s track record should give you confidence when moving forward. You always want them to show you they have a competitive edge in any market conditions. A good buyer’s agent needs to prove their knowledge about the neighborhood and an understanding of shifting variables affecting valuations. A good listing agent will have experience selling at desired prices for whom they represent. Trust your instincts but always allow yourself a moment to reflect on all of the information you have gathered before committing to anything.

Top Value Mortgage Lender In Portland

The Lindley Team offers clients top value as a mortgage lender in Portland. With years of experience helping thousands of clients, they have a wealth of information to share about the market and choosing the right real estate agent as well as the right mortgage for you! With services from purchasing, cash/out debt consolidation, refinance, and reverse mortgages, they can turn your homeownership dreams into reality. Contact them today at

If you’d like to start the process of getting a home, come see us at the Tammi Lindley Team. We are Portland’s premier mortgage lenders, offering hundreds of mortgage products so you can pick the mortgage that matches your needs. Contact us today and start the process of owning your dream home.

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