How to Select the Best Real Estate Agent

Tip 1: Create a Check List. Before you select a real estate agent, take a moment to write down a list of items that are important to you and include any unanswered questions you have about how the process will work. Following this list when speaking to potential agents will help you stay consistent and will allow you to quickly identify your best choice among a potentially crowded field of available Realtors.

Tip 2: Ask for Referrals. One of the best ways to quickly find a top real estate agent is to simply ask around. Ask people you trust and respect who they would recommend working with and start there. Additionally, you might have a few friends who are agents and you can always research online. Create a short list of prospects and then get in touch with them.

Tip 3: Conduct Interviews. Your real estate agent is your employee and they will be working for you. Treat this decision like you would a job interview and do not be afraid to get tough with your questions and expectations. Now is the time to follow the list of questions and expectations you outlined earlier.

Tip 4: Hire Locally. Only consider a real estate agent that is familiar with the area you either currently live or where you plan to buy. Real estate agents acquire a lot of useful information about the areas where they spend the most time working, such as the best locations, current home valuations, etc. Working with an agent who is not very familiar with your area of interest will not offer nearly as much value as one who is.

Tip 5: Consider Their Track Record. How long has the agent been in real estate? Do they have a verifiable track-record of success? How many current listings do they have and how long does it usually take them to sell a home? These are all great questions to ask to find out how capable a Realtor is. If you are selling a home, you want to work with an agent who knows how to sell homes quickly. If you are planning to buy, you want to work with one who has deep contacts and can potentially help you secure a hard to find gem.

Tip 6: Personality Fit. Choose an agent you get along with and enjoy being around. Buying and selling real estate can be a lengthy endeavor so there needs to be a personality fit. Also be sure you can trust your agent and are comfortable with their work ethic.

Tip 7: What’s Their Edge. The best Realtors have an edge that helps them be great. Do they have a large database of potential buyers? Do they have a special system for marketing a home? Do they have a high-traffic website? If your agent doesn’t know what their edge is, they don’t have one.

Tip 8: Look For Back Office Support. What kind of support will your real estate agent have? Do they work with a large national real estate brokerage firm that offers a lot of support or a small regional one that might not have the resources to help as much? Does your agent have their own staff and support team? The best agents have people around them to help.

Take the time to find a great agent and you will be handsomely rewarded in the end, and the commissions you pay will be worth every penny.

If you are in the market for a new home, take a few minutes and get pre-approved for a home mortgage so you know just how much home you can afford.