Regardless of whether you’re looking to buy or sell a home, choosing the best agent is always a challenge. Here are a few things you can look for as you make your decision.
Experience & Availability
Look for an agent who is experienced enough to know what they’re doing but not so experienced that they are serving 10+ clients and don’t have much time for you. Ask the agent you’re considering how long they’ve been in business, what credentials and certifications they have, etc. Ask them for a resume. After all, you’re the one doing the hiring!
Honesty & Reliability
Ask the agents you’re considering how much they would sell your home for. Be wary of high-ball offers, HGTV explains. “If two agents say $600,000 and the third says $700,000, think hard. It’s likely the high bid is an exaggeration to attract your business. In the trade it’s known as buying a listing. In the end, you’ll be the one who pays because the high price will scare away potential buyers before you inevitably drop the price.” If you’re dissatisfied with the realtor’s answer, ask around for reliable recommendations. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a trustworthy realtor, because a realtor’s reputation precedes them.
Success & Accuracy
Another way to test potential agents, Time magazine suggests, is asking for a list of houses the realtor has handled in your target neighborhood that include not just what the house sold for, but also the price at which it was originally listed. This will give you some ideas as to the success rate of your potential realtor.
Friendly & Professional
Don’t discount gut instinct. If you’re getting a bad vibe from a realtor or see things (tardiness, unprofessional manner, etc.) that turn you off, don’t be desperate. Cross them off your list and keep looking!