A good real estate agent can make or break a homebuying or selling experience, so
it’s important to do your research to find an agent who fits your needs and
personality. You’ll want to consider how they communicate with clients, how they
handle negotiations, and if they have a track record of successful closings.
Choosing the right agent starts with trusted referrals. Ask friends and family who
recently bought or sold a home for their recommendation. Chances are they’ll
mention the agent who went above and beyond to meet their needs, set realistic
expectations, and provide great service. You can also ask neighbors for
recommendations if you’re new to the area.
But be careful relying too heavily on referrals. The agent who worked wonders for
your sister or childhood best friend may not be the right fit for you. Different buyers
have different financial circumstances, different neighborhoods in mind, and
The internet is an excellent resource for finding agents, and many real estate
websites have a directory of local agents with customer ratings, listing activity stats,
and other information. You can also use a free agent matching service like Clever to
see a list of local agents who are a good fit for you based on your criteria.
When you’re ready to narrow down your choices, schedule a time to meet with each
candidate. Treat the interview process like a job interview, and ask each agent
important vetting questions such as how long they’ve been in business, whether
they specialize in buying or selling, and how much they typically sell or buy in a
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A top agent will take the time to listen and understand your goals, respond quickly
to phone calls and texts, and be a proactive advocate for you. They’ll also have a
firm grasp of your area’s market trends and be knowledgeable about the area’s
schools, commute times, and other factors that may influence your decision.
Be on the lookout for red flags such as an agent who’s pushy or makes you feel
uncomfortable. You don’t need an aggressive salesperson to help you find your
dream home, and in fact, a pushy agent could end up costing you money by
overpricing your property or bidding wars.
When it comes to buying or selling, you’ll want an agent who’s responsive and
honest with you. Avoid any agent who takes more than five days to return a call or
doesn’t respond to a text message promptly. You should also be wary of agents who
give you unrealistic expectations about what you can expect from the housing
market or a specific neighborhood. And remember, if your gut says no, don’t be
afraid to walk away.