Whether you’re buying or selling a home, a great real estate agent can make the whole process run smoothly, and help you get the best deal possible. Finding the ideal agent for you can take some time, and a lot depends on what your goals are. Different agents have different skill sets, so the best advice is to interview several before making your choice.
Below, we’ve listed the top 10 qualities of a great real estate agent to look out for while making your choice. Use these points as a guideline, with the best agents ticking the most boxes.
Unfortunately, there are many unqualified and inexperienced people masquerading as real estate agents. These people are generally interested in cashing a commission check as fast as possible and are unlikely to have your best interests at heart. On top of that, they’re often way out of touch with the market, current real estate law, and will often be doing this in their spare time. Seek out an agent that is fully trained, and fully qualified; while they may charge a higher fee, their expertise will pay off in the long run.
An experienced agent is more likely to know the intricacies of the market, and have a good grasp of real estate law, helping you get the best deal you can. Different agents may have experience in different areas of real estate, so be sure to ask the relevant questions when interviewing various agents. For example, some agents may be experts in certain neighborhoods, while others specialize in short sales or a specific type of housing. Having said that, sometimes it’s worth giving a younger, less experienced agent a go. What they lack in experience, they may make up for in terms of commitment and energy as they strive to make a name for themselves.
Some of the best agents on paper may not be the best for you, simply because they’re so in demand. Ideally, you want an agent that is prepared to commit to your needs, and who has the time to help you out when you need it most. An overworked agent can’t fully concentrate on your needs, and your transaction can suffer as a result.
Great real estate agents are always learning, keeping a close eye on market trends, new neighborhoods, and industry news. They should be several steps ahead of the competition, and well aware of what’s new in their area. They might have access to properties that haven’t yet been listed properly, helping you stay ahead as well.
Good track record
It’s important to take a look at references from previous clients when choosing an agent, as this can give you an idea of how effective an agent is, as well as their work practices. If you can get a personal recommendation from a friend or family member, you’re one step ahead, but if not, ask for references, or search online. A great agent will have no problem putting you in touch with previous clients.
Whether you’re selling or buying, there are many professionals involved during a real estate transaction. From home inspectors and appraisers to contractors, stagers and real estate lawyers, these people are needed to help keep the process moving. An excellent agent should have contacts in every field, ready to pass onto you when you need them.
Easy to get along with
You’ll probably spend a lot of time with your real estate agent, so it’s important that you get along. Some people just don’t click, and the best agent in the world might not be the best fit for you. Find someone who you can talk openly and honestly with, and who listens carefully to what you’re saying. If you’re not comfortable with someone, choose another agent.
Honest and trustworthy
A great agent should be direct and to the point, and most importantly, honest with you. If your expectations are too high for what your budget will get you, they need to tell you. If a home you think is perfect isn’t all that it seems, they need to tell you. Part of the job is to occasionally deliver bad news, and a good agent must be capable of that, even if it means letting you down and slowing down the sale. Be wary of an agent who promises everything and wants to close as quickly as possible and cash their commission check.
A great agent should have no qualms negotiating a better deal for you. This is a skill many of us lack, and one that can take years to master. A good negotiator can ensure that everybody is happy at the end of the deal.