Choosing a Real Estate Agent: What to Look for Before You Decide

From financial restrictions to professional experience, there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the right realtor.

One of the most important factors in buying or selling a home is the help you enlist to do so – more specifically, your real estate agent. Not only should your agent have all the credentials, but also a personality that jives with yours. Pick someone you like and whom you can trust with guiding you through making such a crucial investment.

ESTATENVY caught up with Berkshire Hathaway Sales Associate Kyle Kissane to get some pointers for those who are on the hunt for a home and an agent to accompany the process.

To start the process, find someone who is actively licensed in the state and has experience to back themselves up. Understanding the home buying and selling process should be a given, but most sources advise to find an agent with at least five years under their belt.

“Choose a realtor who is practicing fulltime,” said Kissane. “He or she should be familiar with the area in which a buyer is looking to buy or sell, too.”

The familiarity that Kissane speaks to is a key quality to look for in an agent. Someone who has been around the block a few times – literally – will be a great asset in the end. Research recent listings to ensure involvement is where it should be, and it will result in better knowledge of local trends as well as school systems and neighborhood demographics.

It’s also important that the realtor can be trusted to adhere to financial interests. A good agent is a good negotiator, as well as someone who will be honest and keep clients informed about the process.

It’s also worth mentioning that a real estate agent doesn’t usually act alone. When it comes to closing a deal, said Kissane, the agent should be working with a solid team to get the job done. Inquire about the agent’s creditable lender and real estate attorney, as purchasing will fall on these individuals to secure funding and coordinate next steps.

Lastly, find an agent you actually like. The easiest way to find a person you’d get along with is to rely on referrals. Talk with recent clients or even survey friends who have recently moved. A realtor is someone a buyer or seller will be spending plenty of time with, so trust and respect is not something to overlook.

“If you don’t like the way a realtor is treating you, find another, because there are dozens of friendly agents looking for clients.”