5 Things to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

July 25, 2021

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Things to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

Choosing the right real estate is vital — both as a buyer and a seller.

As a seller, your agent will play a critical role in marketing your home, negotiating its price, and ensuring your sale is both profitable and smooth. As a buyer, they’ll make or break your home search (and your budget).

So how do you go about finding the perfect one for your sale or purchase? First off, get recommendations from friends, family members, and colleagues. Once you have a short-list of candidates, meet with the top ones (or schedule a call) and get to know them a bit more.

The ideal agent has the following characteristics:

Local experience and knowledge.

A great agent needs strong experience and knowledge — not just in real estate in general, but in your exact local marketplace. They need to know what specific contracts and legal documents are required in a transaction and what structural and property issues are common given the local climate and other factors.

They also need to be in tune with the local housing market, including buyer preferences, area home prices, up-and-coming neighborhoods, the quality of school districts, and more. These are all vital pieces of knowledge that can help you find the best property or sell your existing one for top-dollar.

Great negotiation skills.

Expert negotiation is required whether you’re on the buying end or the selling one. When buying, you need an agent who can negotiate on price, help you get the repairs you need, and help you weigh the contingencies and concessions your deal might require. As a seller, you’ll want someone who can recognize a great deal, know when to counteroffer, and help you make the most off of your sale — with the fewest repairs and least amount of hassle.

Being quick with their negotiations (responding quickly to offers and counteroffers) is important, too — especially in today’s red-hot market.

Strong reviews and ratings.

You should always check the public reviews and ratings for any agent you’re considering using. You can use sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and your local Realtor association for these. There should be star-based systems (usually one to five stars, with five being best), as well as full written reviews, which can give you even more guidance.

You can also ask agents you’re considering for the contact info of a past client or two. Then, call them up or email them, and ask a bit about their experience. Were they happy with the agent? Did they deliver as expected? Would they use the agent again? That last question is the most important.

Bandwidth and availability.

Make sure the agent you hire has the time for you. In today’s market, acting fast and being responsive is critical. If they have too many clients or are too busy with listings or personal matters, then you’ll likely fall through the cracks — and so will your sale or purchase.

Before choosing an agent, ask how many clients they’re currently working with, and how much time they have to devote to you each week. This is especially important if you’re moving from far-off and will need your agent to attend showings on your behalf.

A similar communication style as yours.

Communication is key in a real estate transaction — particularly in a fast-moving market like today’s. To make sure you and your agent will communicate well, ask about their style. Are they more the phone call and in-person meeting type, or are they quick on the draw with texting and emails instead?

You’ll want to make sure that 1) their communication style jives with your goals (is it quick enough or responsive enough?) and 2) that it matches well with yours. If you’re someone who shies away from phone calls or has too busy a schedule for in-person meetings, choosing an agent who favors these methods probably isn’t best.

The bottom line

The right real estate agent can make or break your transaction, so choose yours wisely. Need help picking the right one for your sale or purchase? Contact Premier Nationwide Lending today.


Premier Nationwide Lending is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. Sponsored by NTFN, Inc. 700 State Highway 121 Bypass, Suite 100, Lewisville, TX 75067 NTFN NMLS 75333.

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