If you're thinking of buying real estate, now's a great time to get on board. According to Zillow, the market's hot right now, and home values have increased by around 7.2% over the past 12 months.

As you start shopping for housing in Lubbock, it doesn't take long to realize there's a lot out there, and an experienced realtor can help you narrow down these options to those best for you. Here are a few tips to help you find the best real estate agent as you embark on this journey.

See What Others Have to Say

You definitely want an agent with experience. To gain experience, they need to have had other clients, and you need to know what these folks have to say. A great way to achieve this is to check online reviews. The Internet has made it easier than ever to make your opinion known, and it's usually not difficult to find out what people have to say about a particular real estate agent.

Ask for Stats

What you can't find online, you can ask a potential agent for directly. Particularly, it's helpful to know how effective they are at getting good deals for their clients. To evaluate this, ask for a list of sales they've made in the past year. From there, you should ask:

If you're buying: Can I see the asking price versus the sales price?

If you're selling: Were your previous sales similar to mine in terms of price and location?

Discipline and Awards

Ideally, you want an agent who receives good recognition, not bad. That's why it's a good idea to find out if they've received any awards or disciplinary action. It's easier to find out than you may realize.

It's up to the state to file disciplinary action against a real estate agent. All you have to do to find out is check with your state regulatory board. In terms of awards, the realtor you're considering will likely let you know if they don't already highlight it on their website.

Check Credentials

You're trying to find a top-selling realtor®, and there are certain credentials anyone worth their salt in the field will be able to provide. Look for an agent who has an acronym following their name as this indicates they've received specialized training. A few you might run into include:

CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)

ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative)

SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist)

A Real Estate Agent You Can Count On

Buying real estate requires insider knowledge if you want to do it right, and top real estate agents in Lubbock can go a long way in pointing you in the right direction. As you consider an agent to work with you, make sure you consider these valuable tips to ensure you find one with the kind of experience and credibility you can count on.

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