How to Properly Vet a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate agent is as important as selecting a financial adviser or lawyer. Let us help you find them with our tips to vet a real estate agent.

Choosing a real estate agent is just as important as selecting a financial adviser or a lawyer. The decision shouldn’t be made lightly because this individual could mean the difference of thousands of dollars taken out of your pocket. I’m not just talking about their fee, either.

Your real estate broker is your advocate, a trusted ally, and a consultant who will provide you with the most accurate analysis of the housing market. He or she should also have strong communication skills to be an effective liaison between you and the other party in a sales transaction, whether you’re the buyer or the seller of a home.

With Realtors wearing so many hats to provide their clients with the best possible service, it’s important for a client to vet the real estate agent they wish to engage in for the sale or purchase of their home. Asking the right questions and knowing where others have made mistakes in the past can help you identify top real estate agents working in your area.

Competence and know-how aren’t the only traits you’re looking for, either.  This is someone you need to trust enough to provide all relevant details of the most expensive transaction you’ll make. This individual is going to be privy to your financial situation and will be negotiating on your behalf.

Before you start scoping out the housing market, get the right person on your side by putting them through a rigorous vetting process. Let us help you find that person by following these tips on how to vet your real estate agent.

Compatible Personalities

Your real estate agent has to be someone you feel completely comfortable with. You’re going to be spending plenty of time with your Realtor viewing houses and sitting in meetings, so you’ll want to enjoy this person’s company. If he or she is someone you can’t get along with, odds are others won’t either and that can hurt you down the line with a potential transaction.

They can be aggressive or laid back, all business or personable, whichever you prefer. Either way, if they don’t have a personality that is compatible with yours, then it probably won’t be a great fit.

Conduct an Interview

You wouldn’t hire anyone without talking to them first and the same goes for your real estate agent. There are no dumb questions and you can never ask too many. Find out how knowledgeable they are about the industry, the market, the region they serve, and see how they communicate.

Do they listen and answer the questions you asked in a thorough and confident manner? Get a sense of their ethics and find out what kind of track record they have, especially if you are selling a home. Be sure to interview a few prospective hires before you choose one.

Get References

As an employer, you should always talk to previous clients who have worked with your prospective real estate agent. Find out if their experiences were positive or negative and ask why. Your references don’t have to be limited solely to previous clients, either.

Talk to other professionals in the industry and see what type of reputation your potential real estate agent has around the area. If it’s not so great and you keep hearing the same horror stories over and over, you know he or she is not the right agent for you.

Marketing Strategies

You can research all there is to know about a prospective real estate agent’s track record and approach to doing business, but when it comes down to it you need to know how how they will help you in your real estate venture. If you are selling your house, then you’ll want an estimate on what they think your home could earn in the current market.

Those numbers might be pretty dazzling, but don’t get distracted with a big pay day; instead, stay focused on how to maximize your potential profit. Ask questions as to the marketing strategies he or she will employ to get your home listed and seen by as many potential buyers as possible. Ask them how you can prepare the home to attract interest from buyers and see if their plan of attack makes sense given your unique circumstances.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.