To help you navigate the complex process of selecting a real estate agent, we’ve gathered insights from CEOs, Real Estate Brokers, and other industry professionals. From focusing on performance and client satisfaction to understanding the importance of an agent’s commitment to professional development, here are the eight key factors these experts consider when choosing their agents. Here’s how to choose the right real estate agent.

  • Performance and Client Satisfaction Focus
  • Broker’s Perspective on Agent Selection
  • Experience and Market Knowledge Importance
  • Seeking Local Expertise and Advice
  • Value of Vetted and Predictable Agents
  • Legal Compliance in Agent Selection
  • Importance of Agent’s Availability
  • Commitment to Professional Development

Performance and Client Satisfaction Focus

There are several factors I considered when selecting the right agent. When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, it’s important to ensure that they are both high-performing and incredibly focused on client satisfaction and integrity. 

I examined the number of transactions they completed, ensuring it was a minimum of 50. To confirm that they weren’t solely focused on their commission but also on the client, I compared the number of listings they had to the number of properties they sold, ensuring that over 90% of their listings sold. 

If that number was less than 90%, it showed that they were not setting realistic expectations for clients. Through this rigorous process, I found an agent who was patient with us and engaged in multiple bidding wars for us, even if we weren’t willing to be the top bidder on each one. Eventually, we found a great investment.

Sebastian Jania, CEO, Ontario Property Buyers

Broker’s Perspective on Agent Selection

As a real estate broker and property manager, several factors need to be considered when selecting a real estate agent. It’s vital to assess their level of expertise, professional reputation, personal rapport, communication style, and overall approach towards marketing properties.

1. Reputation: Does the agent have a strong professional reputation? A well-respected agent will often have a robust network, providing an advantage when finding potential buyers and sellers. 

2. Rapport: It’s essential to select an agent with whom you can communicate comfortably and openly. Remember, they will represent your interests. 

3. Communication Style: Each client communicates differently, and the same goes for real estate agents. Do they fit your style?

Dr. Shenetta Malkia-Sapp Ph.D, Real Estate Broker, The PMs of the City Realty

Experience and Market Knowledge Importance

Experience and Expertise: Agents with a proven track record of successful transactions and expertise in the local market are preferred. Experience matters significantly in navigating complex real estate transactions.

Market Knowledge: Deep knowledge of the local market, including neighborhood trends, property values, and market conditions, is crucial for making informed decisions.

Communication Skills: Effective communication is key. The agent should be responsive, attentive to client needs, and able to explain the intricacies of the real estate process clearly.

Negotiation Skills: A good agent should be a strong negotiator, advocating for the client’s best interests and securing favorable terms.

Ritika Asrani, Owner and Head Broker, St Maarten Real Estate

Seeking Local Expertise and Advice

Employ a person with extensive local knowledge. Compared to agents who rarely deal in that neighborhood, these agents will have a better understanding of the going rates for both buying and selling. 

One approach to locating a local specialist is asking friends, family, or a local brokerage whether they know of somebody who has sold a lot of houses or companies in the area. Another recommendation is to examine the local real estate newspapers to determine which agents have the most properties in particular locations. 

Knowledgeable real estate brokers are aware of the features that draw people to homes in the neighborhood, be it a screened-in porch, a pool, or another amenity. They will therefore offer recommendations for the rooms or aspects to highlight or underline. 

During the initial interview, ask the realtor if there are any improvements you might make to the house to make it more desirable.

Michael Bondi, Realtor, Las Vegas Realty for Sale

Value of Vetted and Predictable Agents

I can’t overstate the importance of working with someone vetted by a friend, relative, or trusted colleague. Testimonials and online reviews are fine, but what you’re really looking for are the agent’s faults. We’re human—everyone has them. 

Ask your contact what parts of the sales process were tricky or difficult, or where the agent came up short. Many times, these faults aren’t disqualifying. You just need to know what to expect in a process that can be long, arduous, and confusing. 

With that sort of predictive ability, you’ll be better able to handle the stresses and account for any challenges before they arise.

Mark Varnas, Principal SQL Server DBA and Consultant, Red9

Legal Compliance in Agent Selection

When choosing a real estate agent, I considered their compliance with legal procedures and understanding of property law. Buying a house involves a myriad of legalities—from contract negotiations to property disclosures and closing documents.

Even as a lawyer, I had to ensure the agent’s expertise aligned with legal protocols. I’ve seen cases where an agent’s rigorous attention to detail in reviewing property disclosures against current zoning laws uncovered hidden compliance issues, sparing clients from potential legal and financial pitfalls.

This level of vigilance is pivotal in securing the right home and safely navigating the legal framework that underpins real-estate transactions.

Alex Freeburg, Owner, Freeburg Law

Importance of Agent’s Availability

Even if you have the best agent, if they’re not available on time, it’s not much use, and you might lose a good deal as well. Hence, when checking other criteria, make sure you have availability criteria on your checklist as well. 

I have observed that real estate agents usually run on tight deadlines and guide multiple parties at the same time. Hence, while buying a house, I had a responsive agent. This way, even if they were not available ‌to come and meet, they were available on the calls as much as possible. 

This made my experience much smoother, and since we both were informed of all the deals, it created a pleasant experience.

Dan Fried, CEO, Specialty Metals

Commitment to Professional Development

I prioritized an agent with a firm commitment to professional development. This meant looking for certifications and designations beyond the standard licensing. 

My agent’s dedication to ongoing education, illustrated by their Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation, was a testament to their deep understanding of complex real estate transactions and market trends.

Ryan Hawker, Founder, H3 Home Buyers