How To Choose a Realtor®

Find a Real Estate Agent that Works for You

It’s not difficult to find a real estate agent when you decide to buy or sell a home. But choosing the right real estate agent for your needs can make all the difference in your results and overall satisfaction the buying or selling process. The following information is designed to help you with the important task of choosing a real estate agent.

The first rule is to find a real estate agent someone who is a true authority in their field and particularly in the neighborhoods in which you are interested.

True authorities have knowledge of current and past trends on the sale and purchase of all different types of homes (new homes, old homes, foreclosed homes, luxury homes, etc.) in a given community, in addition to knowing all the local facts relevant to your potential home selection. That means they should be aware of local community information, independent school districts (ISDs), and taxes.

The real estate agent who is helping you search for a new home should be able to give you a breakdown of homes in your price range and where they are located. They should also have knowledge of the real estate market in a specific community: What is the typical asking price? How much does the type of home you are looking for typically cost? What kind of features do they have? What is the square footage? What are the amenities?

Authorities in their field have excellent communications skills. They know what questions to ask. An effective agent needs to understand your current financial situation, your needs for purchasing a home, your timing and priorities.

Another criteria for an authority in the field is their ability to use technology to help you with your home search. They should be able to utilize the multiple listing service (MLS) to gather information on housing trends for you. They can also give you a list of internet resources to help you investigate on your own. They will also be able to provide you with information on your options in a timely fashion.

It is important that your agent has a reputation for honesty and personal integrity. Since you will be highly dependent on the agent for their knowledge and straight-forward information, it is essential that you feel comfortable and able to trust them.

So how do you determine if an agent is a true authority in the field? Neighbors, friends and family members are often good resources. It is helpful to find someone with whom the agent has worked in the past. Key questions to ask are:

  • Is the real estate agent an authority in the geographical area where you are looking to buy?
  • How long have they been in the real estate business and how long with their current company?
  • What is the reputation of the company?
  • Ask for references of recent clients and be sure to call those references. Ask the references to describe the services provided by the agent, their dependability, patience, honesty and professionalism. Ask whether they would use the agent again.
  • The agent should also be able to produce a list of on-line and community resources to help you to profile a community.
  • Meet the real estate agent in their office to see if you feel comfortable and ask them why you should have them represent you. If you get any feelings that you aren’t comfortable with that agent, then choose another one.