As a buyer (or seller), what are the three most important qualities you look for in a Realtor?

As agents, we often hear of potential clients choosing a relative as their agent, regardless of that agent's experience. I'm wondering if this is done out of obligation, or a level of trust, or something else.
  • November 20 2010 - Anthem
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Answers (16)

I have worked with clients who started out using their relative or friend and end up switching because it is hard to mix buisness and friends.  This is a major purchase and needs to be treated like your buisness. Your realtor should work for you and later, earn your friendship. 
  • March 21 2011
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How quick do they respond (Test it out, send an email and see who responds and how friendly they are)

What do past clients have to say (Testimonials)

Determine what's important to you and interview a few agents.
  • January 28 2011
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Awesome Joan! Us New Jerseyians certainly think alike! Maybe we can add: Ability to refrain from an opinion when one is not solicited :)
  • January 10 2011
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Out of the 12 answers here, only 2 are from non-agents, even after Chris tried to clarify that he is only interested in answers from potential clients.

How about we add to the list:  attention to detail, the ability to read and comprehend and following instructions.

Too funny.
  • January 10 2011
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Communication
If a realtor asks a lot of questions, most people get turned off. Unfortunately, that agent may have been the one getting you to communicate your needs and expectation so they can best understand your situation and the way you would prefer to work. An agent must communicate back to you as well. Establishing a level of communication you want from the beginning will give the agent an idea of how you want to communicate. If they can't grasp what you need, then it's time to move on.

Candor
Honesty is important in any relationship. In most cases, you may not have the time to build such a relationship before you make the decision to buy. A realtor should be giving you tools to help you make your own informed decision. They may share stories of other buyers so you can tell what is important to you. They may share their opinions too. In the end, they shouldn't push you to agree with them or anyone else. The decisions are your own.

Specialization
Do you want an agent that is specifically trained to handle only buyers or only sellers? Some agents choose to specialize such as a doctor or lawyer does in their field. Do you choose a specialist when you'r making a big decision?

Testimonials
These are only one piece to the puzzle but it may be more comforting to see if the agent has any testimonials you can review.

The bottom line really is while you're interviewing agents, pay attention to how they are communicating with you. Are they asking questions? Have they told you how they told you how they can help you? They should be there to guide you through the process at the level you need guided. If you tell them you're a first time home buyer but they let you run the process, they aren't guiding you. You may find this a bigger detriment once you are in contract. Be sure to find the right agent for you before you find the right house. If that agent shows you the house you want, they are the procuring cause and entitled to see you through the purchase.





  • January 10 2011
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Communication - it's constant and it's clear.
Honesty - your agent gives you the facts and let's you make the decisions. They don't try to push you in any particular direction.
Work Ethic - your agent makes your priorities his priorities. He looks at all the new listings for you each week and doesn't take shortcuts.
  • January 05 2011
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Experience, Knowledge and Trust? I always ask potential sellers and buyers that are considering using a relative 1 question.  "Could you fire a relative or friend if it wasn't working out?"
  • December 27 2010
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Profile picture for carolj959
Trust is the biggest issue you must be some one your clients trust than experience than time you must have the time to give them.
  • December 25 2010
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Just to clarify, I'm an agent who is asking "potential clients" what they look for.
  • November 28 2010
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You have received some really great responses already:
I would also include one that will continue to communicate, as needed, with you after the paperwork (listing/sale contract) is complete. 
  • November 28 2010
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In my opinion choose an agent YOU trust and you beleive understands your wants and needs.......that is my bottom line advice for you.  Best of luck
  • November 28 2010
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Choosing a relative as an agent can be dicey. They are much harder to deal with if they do not do their job and firing them even for good cause can make the family part messy.

Some people that I have talked to have used a relative for their agent. Most chose a relative either out of obligation or out of an agreement to rebate them back part of the commission. I think that people should put their needs as a buyer first before any family ties and choose an agent that will work hard to represent them. 
  • November 22 2010
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Profile picture for SteadyState
Minimum Qualifications:
1. Bachelors in Economics/Finance from a reputed University.
2. 2+ years working at financial investment institutions
3. 2+ years working in an investment house evaluating investments to individuals/companies
Desired Qualifications
1. 3+ years as a part-time REA
2. Preferred broker as opposed to REA
3. Willing to work for flat fee and not comission 
  • November 22 2010
  • 4Yes

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Integrity, experience, and rapport. You have to know that the agent will always do what's right for you. An agent with experience can guide you through tough situations because they've seen them before. And of course you should feel comfortable with your agent.
Keep in mind an experienced agent will also have great contacts that can help: inspectors, loan officers, handymen, etc. Your experienced agent will be a great resource before and after the sale.
  • November 21 2010
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Chris I would limit it to only 3 qualities. What I recommend is that a buyer or seller interview as many agents as they feel necessary and find one that they feel has the most qualifications and feel comfortable talking with. Buying or selling a house is a long process and you need to know that your Realtor will be there for you and that you are 100% comfortable working with them during the whole transaction.
  • November 20 2010
  • 1Yes

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Here's the answer, Chris:  "Yes!"   ;-)
  • November 20 2010
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