Real Estate Agent

How to choose the right agent

Finding the right real estate agent is the most important decision when it comes to selling or buying a home. But remember, all real estate agents aren't created equal. Some will get involved every step of the way, while others reallocate a lot of the work to other brokers. The key is finding the right agent for the job.

Here are some tips for what to look for in a real estate agent:

  • Shop around - There are many agencies to choose from, but remember that the individual real estate agent is more important than the agency. Ask your friends to refer you to agents with whom they've had good experiences. You can also browse online directories such as the National Association of Realtors website.
  • Look for experience - There is an abundance of agents at your disposable but you want to choose one that has lots of industry experience (at least two years). Don't be afraid to ask how long they've been practicing and to turn them down if necessary.
  • Search for commitment - A lot of real estate agents only practice part-time. If this is the case, they may only give their full dedication for properties within a certain price range. Make sure to find a committed agent that will work their hardest even if your home does not fit into that price range. Furthermore, choose an agent that is willing to work with your schedule.
  • Interview the agents - Take the time to sit down and talk with the agents you're interested in working with. You'll get a feel for what they can offer and you can decide whether or not you'll feel comfortable working with them. A good relationship between agent and home owner is essential to selling the home.
  • Negotiating sale price - Find a confident real estate agent who is willing and able to negotiate price, whether you're buying or selling a home. This ability shows that the agent is not just focused on making money, but is also eager to get you the best deal possible. This is where an experienced real estate agent can excel.
  • Communication skills - Communication skills are among the most important qualities that a real estate agent should possess. You want an agent that will communicate with you every step of the way so you are completely informed on where you stand. It's also the best way to ensure your needs will be fully understood and met.
  • Cost - It's important to have an understanding of what you expect to pay for a real estate agent. Agents work on commission - that is, they receive a percentage of the selling price of the house. The commissions are usually determined by the real estate agency. An average commission for a $200,000 house may be 6 percent.