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How do I 'choose' the right real estate agent for my needs ?

Picking the 'right' real estate agent seems to be subjective. Can you give me some tips on what to look for ?  
  • October 02 2013 - US
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Answers (19)

I suggest caling a local Title company and ask them who does continuously good business without drama and has happy clients. They know if an agent is knowledgeable, does an amount of business that is sustainable (thus enables the agent to invest in their listings and as a buyer's agent not to be pushy because they need the business urgently)
Get two or three names and interview them all. See with whom you "click". Ask for their philosophies in selling RE, it is not about putting a sing in the ground or unlock a door.. Reviews here on Zillow are a good indicator, too.
Best of luck!
  • October 12 2013
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Have clarity of what you expect from the agent. Make a list of "your needs" and interview the agent as they are hired for a "job assignment" for you.  Ask for references.  When talking to the agent - pay close attention to how you connect to them... do you get the "feeling" of trust and confidence that the agent will do what you expect?  Articulate clearly what you want - as this is the only way for someone to actually give you what you want (even the best agent can't read minds: ) ...

Another question is also, do you consider working with a "sales team" or an "individual agent.  The cost should be the same to you.Top producing agents often have assistants and/or team members to ensure that the entire transaction runs smoothly, Top agents get results, know the market, are expert negotiators, and have the home buying process set up as an effective system.  Some buyers (and sellers) still prefer the one on one only.  However, the risk you will run is that that there will be scheduling conflicts (if the individual agent is sick, has a personal issue to tend to or if there is an overlap of clients) 

  • October 12 2013
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Profile picture for Diana Castle
Referrals are good but when it comes down to it..  It is who are you comfortable with.  Some agents are pushy and get the job done while others are more subdued but still get the job done. You want someone who is a good negotiator so you get the most money, you also want someone that is reachable.  A lot of agents stop answering their phones and let people leave messages.  The call they miss could be the call that will get the house sold.  You need to trust the person you choose or it will be a stressful time for you wondering if everything is going good and just all the normal things that come up and cause stress while in this situation.
  • October 12 2013
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Always go with your instinct and make sure you hire someone that is genuine,professional, and committed to providing the best service.
Your Agent should always have your best interest in mind and should have strong communication skills.

Good luck!

  • October 09 2013
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Choosing a real estate agent is like choosing any other professional in my opinion. Referrals from friends and family are a great start, and then you need to "interview" them. Get to know what they will do for you and how they will work with you throughout the process.

Being comfortable with your agent is important. You should feel like you can call or email them anytime and ask as many questions as you need to.

A good real estate agent can provide you with insight that you might not otherwise be able to get. They can dig into listings and find out if it is a good value or not and guide you in the offering process and throughout the buying or selling process as a whole.
  • October 05 2013
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get a referral from someone you know! 
  • October 04 2013
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The best is to get referrals from people you know or check out the agent's reviews on line :)
  • October 04 2013
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Profile picture for Neeraj Jassal
You may also want to check out Zillow's Buying Guide to learn what to expect.

The more you know before you start the process, the better you will be in the long run - and you will find that you will make much more effective decisions.
  • October 03 2013
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You can simply input your area here and you will get a list of Realtors serving that area, sort by ratings and contact a few and work with the one you feel most comfortable with!
  • October 03 2013
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
I think SoCal has hit the core of what you ar anyone thinking of using
the Services of a Realtor/Lender or anyone selling Services should be focused on...

Picking a Lender or Agent are critical/important decisions,
Get as informed as possible so you can wade thru the smoke ..they are selling services not doing you a favor

I would suggest becoming as informed as possible about what options you have, whats available, what's this weeks sales pitch or what's the standard yadda (You can learn a lot of that just cruising thru this forum or any RE Forum and reading their responses to questions like yours

Some Common Sense, knowing your goals and available options will
see you through imo

Example..options
(DOJ web site)...Competition & Real Estate

Good Luck & Shop Smart


  • October 03 2013
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
First, you need to know what "your needs" are. Sounds overly simple, but I've seen many "tell me what to do" posts. If you go down this road, then you're likely to pick a REA who is adept at convincing you to align your needs with their skillset...and you'll be unhappy at some point down the road.
 
If you are familiar with (or have educated yourself on) the general RE concepts and have identified your goals for purchasing RE (e.g., primary residence, secondary residence, investment, income, etc.), then you are in a much better position to determine how well any given REA fits "your needs".

After that, the rest of the "standard service provider questions" apply (e.g. experience, track record, any referrals/recommendations, adequacy of proposed services, etc.).
  • October 03 2013
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Nice tips, but what I think the most important is that since the biggest financial move in your life is buying or selling a property, So you need to find some time to interview at least 3 agents before choosing one to deal with. Choose someone who's familiar with the area you want to buy/sell your property in, also a good real estate agent should be aware of other technicalities such as inspection, negotiation. What really matters before all this that you need to be comfortable dealing with this agent.
  • October 03 2013
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Knowledge---Understands the market....contracts...disclosures....processes
Experience---negotiating skills.....maturity in handling people (agent/loan agent/inspectors etc)....solves problems....navigates the buying/selling process with least amount of stress for you....
Integrity---Honest...keeps your interests above all else....does what he/she says'...is always available for you.....
  • October 02 2013
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Well depends upon whether you are buying or selling.  Not the same criteria for both, however one person can do both just that you need to evaluate them differently.

Selling is about communication and marketing. 

Buying is about communication , knowledge of the area, accessibility to you. 

Both are about experience, care, and the skills that the bring to the transaction.

We offer 5-star service because we have checklists and protocol for either side of the transaction.

  • October 02 2013
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Profile picture for user7221000
My agent does not keep appointments, and does NOT return emails, or phone calls. Is it time to change my real estate agent ?
  • October 02 2013
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Profile picture for AskAllen
Choose an agent whose primary goal is to listen, understand, and support your needs and is capable of guiding you through home buying.
  • October 02 2013
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A Realtor should also be detail oriented.  They should be busy enough to understand the current market, but not so busy they can't return calls.  You also would want a professional who can show proof of success and shows an interest in helping others.

If you are buying a home, a Realtor should have a strong track record of working with buyers.  Then, be honest about your situation and goals.  Ask lots of questions to make sure your concept of "best interests" matches theirs.  

  • October 02 2013
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  • October 02 2013
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Check with your friends/families/co workers and see if one of them have a personal referral for you.  If so, ask what they liked/disliked about the agent. 

If none there a few things to check for/ask- 

1.  How they operate and schedule appointments.  It can be very frustrating getting into a contract and working with an agent and they are never available when you are to look at properties or answer your questions.  Or even able to walk you thru the process.  

2.  Make sure they are knowledgeable about the market you are looking in - including up to date on contracts/standard practices.  Sounds simple, but you would be surprised the level of unprofessional/uneducated agents I work with. 

One of the most important - make sure you like the agent or are at least compatible work wise.  Nothing worse than butting heads with your agent every step of the process.  

If you still are having trouble, I have worked with and networked with agents through out the country.  Would be happy to recommend one for you. 


Good luck and contracts on purchasing your home. 

Cassandra Bickel, Realtor®
  • October 02 2013
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