What to Look for and What to Look Out for in a Real Estate Agent

by Ben SanfordDecember 17, 2018

Tips for Landing an Experienced Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

Most home buyers aren’t familiar with the ins and outs of buying a home. It’s a complex process that can be especially frustrating at times. Because of this, having a reputable real estate agent is a necessity. A good agent keeps her client informed, educates them throughout the process, and places her client’s interests above even her own.

But, it’s not always easy finding such an agent. After all, there are a lot of real estate agents out there and not all of them are worth their salt. To help ensure the agent you choose is right for you, here are five things you want to look for in an agent, and perhaps more importantly – five things you should watch out for.

real estate agent tips

5 Things to Look for in an Experienced Real Estate Agent

  1. Licensure . Every working agent should be licensed. You can check a Realtor’s licensure by visiting your state’s real estate board. Here, you can verify that her license is active and in good standing. You can also check to see if she has any negative reviews or has received any disciplinary action in the past. If all looks good, then you have taken your first step on the way to choosing a reputable and reliable Realtor.
  2. Experience. To get the best results from your agent, it’s important to choose an agent that has experience selling the types of properties you’re interested in. For instance, if you’re interested in buying a town home, you don’t want to use a Realtor who primarily deals with rural properties. While some agents can have multiple “specialties,” you need to ensure your agent has experience in your choice of property.
  3. Response Time . A good agent will respond quickly to your inquiries. Even if the agent is highly sought out, she should still respond in a timely manner. Her quick response to you most likely means she is also quick to respond to others involved in the buying process, and this is something you want in a Realtor.
  4. Knowledge of the Area. If you’re unfamiliar with the area you’re planning on moving to, then having an agent who is familiar will be a necessary asset. Your agent will be able to guide you to the best communities, and she’ll have a firm grasp on the local market, which will benefit you when it’s time to negotiate.
  5. Compatible Personality. While personality has nothing to do with how well a Realtor does their job, it can have a big impact on your overall experience. You want the process to go smoothly and to be as enjoyable as possible, and this is only achievable if both you and your agent like each other. So, if you can tell from your first meeting that there’s no connection there, then it may be time to keep looking.

real estate agent tips

5 Things to Watch Out for in a Real Estate Agent

  1. Works Part-Time as an Agent. The best agents are those who work in the industry every single day. Agents who only work part-time aren’t as up-to-date on the market and they aren’t always as accommodating. Stick with Realtors who are career agents.
  2. Lack of Knowledge of the Area. If your agent isn’t knowledgeable about the area where you’re looking to buy, then how can you be sure she knows the local market? How can you be sure she can match you up with the best listings for your search criteria?
  3. Doesn’t Usually Work With Buyers in Your Price-Range. Some agents like to stick with clients who have high price ranges, while others are more comfortable working with clients with smaller price ranges. The last thing you want is for your Realtor to specialize in one price range when you’re shopping for homes in the other. This is especially true for a Realtor who usually sells expensive homes because you could suffer from a lack of attention the moment someone contacts them about a more expensive property.
  4. Poor Communication. Good communication is a must when you’re buying or selling a home. Your agent needs to be a good negotiator and keep all parties up to date with the latest details and offers. Bad communication is one of the most common causes of delayed closings, so make sure your agent responds quickly and succinctly.
  5. Charges a Lower Commission. When an agent charges a lower-than-usual commission, it’s not them giving you a great deal. It’s usually a sign that the agent is either new or not that successful. Never use a low commission as a reason for choosing a Realtor, or you might just get what you pay for.

real estate agent tips

Need Help Finding an Agent in Your Area? Homes.com Can Help

Homes.com is your complete buying or selling resource. We can help you find home values in your area, buy or sell a home, and even find a reputable real estate agent in the area you’re looking to buy or sell. Give Homes.com a try today for everything related to buying or selling a home!

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.