What to look for in an agent
As they say, “experience is the best teacher”. There is a direct correlation between how much business an agent has done and the amount of experience they have developed. Check to see how long an agent has been in business and more importantly, how much business they’ve done. The abilities of an experienced agent to manage all parts of the sale effectively will come in handy.
Education is the key to better understanding and better understanding means a better outcome for you. Real Estate is a broad and constantly evolving vocation that requires a fair amount of study to be an effective participant in. So, be mindful of an agent’s education and the designations that they’ve earned. Designations are the sets of three letter initials, normally following or below their name. Each represent a body of knowledge that the agent has acquired through additional education, experience or a combination of both. It's not the only form of education, but this is a good indicator that the agent aspires to be as knowledgeable in the field of real estate as possible and will invest their time, energy and money to further that end.
Authenticity is the difference between clear and tinted lenses. A clear lens will show you exactly what you are looking at while a tinted one will show you… well a tinted version of it. When working with people, especially on something as important as the sale or purchase of a home, make sure that you choose an agent that is transparent. You don’t want to be second guessing the person you entrust that responsibility with.
You want your agent to be a problem solver and not a problem amplifier. Situations will arise in every real estate sale and the way they handle those situations has a direct impact on your outcome. Your agent should be open and a listener, then thoughtful and thorough in their actions. An agent who can do this will guide you through any challenge to the finish line.
If you are looking for a listing agent, their proximity to your location is also something to consider. It’s not impossible for an agent, who comes highly recommended to you, but is an hour away, to list your property. However, being farther does limit how fast they can get there for any sudden need. Examples could be showing the house to a prospective buyer, replacing marketing materials when they are low, helping the showing agent if they have an issue, or even responding to the discovery of a water leak or other emergency that can happen, especially in a vacant property. Lastly, being familiar with the immediate area is important to maximizing a property’s potential. Realtors are familiar with many areas but are normally more familiar with the areas near their office or where they do most of their business. That local knowledge will help to maximize a sale's potential.
These are not the only things that make up a great agent, but they are pillars of one. If you work with an agent who can check these boxes, you will be well on your way to accomplishing your real estate goals.