How To Choose a Real Estate Agent

Key characteristics for choosing the right agent for you - key characteristics for you to watch out for

Choosing the right real estate agent to represent you in the sale of your house or to find your next home can be difficult. There are so many agents out there, but how do you know who you will work with best?

Well, finding the right agent for your needs to be a good marriage of credentials and chemistry. Not only is it important that the realtor you choose has a proven track record, but ultimately it will be very important that you can work together. Make sure that while you’re choosing your agent you interview multiple people and ask a lot of questions! (Post coming soon on questions to ask your agent.)

Here are some of the key things you’re looking for in an agent:

  1. Experience and Education
  2. Honesty
  3. Negotiation Skills
  4. Communication Skills

Let’s break these down a little more.

Key Characteristics of a Good Agent - Experience and Education, Honest/Honesty, Negotiation Skills, Communication Skills

Experience and Education
You want an agent who’s been doing real estate full-time for a couple of years, at the very least. This shows that they’re dedicated to the business and will have more experience in the market and industry than those that work real estate part-time. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them about their background, credentials and what they did prior to real estate. This helps provide insight on what they’re like and whether they’ll be a good fit for you or not.

Honesty
When interviewing agents, it’s important that you feel they are being honest with you. This will ultimately be the person representing you in a very large life decision and investment, and it’s extremely important that you trust them. You will want to know that this person is acting as your advocate to get you the best deals when it comes to either selling or purchasing your home. You’ll also want someone who is honest with you when it comes to your expectations or desires. A good agent will give you their honest opinion on the value of your home or if your new home wish list is realistic, even if this means disagreeing with you.

Negotiation Skills
This may be one of the most difficult and rare skills to uncover when interviewing agents. Look for an agent that has a pleasant demeanor but is not afraid to speak their opinions openly in an informed and intellectual manner. What you’re looking for is a person who will get along with other agents or home purchasers and will be able to support their arguments with sound reasoning when negotiating.

Communication Skills
Good communication skills are important for all agents. Their communication skills will affect how they work with other agents as well as how they work with you. You’ll want someone who you feel is quick to respond and give out information. Note how an agent responds to your first inquiry. This can be a good gage of how they will continue to work with you and others throughout the process of buying or selling your home.

As you meet with different agents, just make sure to keep in mind that you’re looking for a balance of experience and personality. You will want a qualified agent to represent you, but you will also want to make sure that you will be comfortable working with them.

More to come… things to look out for when interview agents and why they may not be the best fit for you.