Successful Traits Shared By Top Producing Real Estate Agents

Most people will tell you that real estate agents are all the same so it really doesn’t matter which one you decide to hire.  If you practice that philosophy, you are guaranteed to have a hard time selling or buying a house.

Top producing real estate agents know the market and know how to position your house to sell in that market.  They sell houses like chefs prepare exquisite cuisine in high-end restaurants.  On the other end of the scale are real estate agents that overprice their listings, don’t market them correctly and don’t aggressively sell their listings, relying solely on fate to sell their listings.  Bad agents are like cooks, shoveling greasy food in fast food restaurants.  Do you want to hire a chef (top producing real estate agent) or a cook (bad real estate agent)?  You should focus on hiring chefs.

Sure all agents have the same tools at their disposal to market your house but it’s how they use them that makes the difference.  So what makes one agent different from another?  Here are a few characteristics that top producing agents have in common.

Traits of Top Producing Agents


Inside a typical real estate market is a collaboration of small, specialized communities.  You can’t expect an agent that specializes in one community to perform adequately in another area.  Agents working outside of their territory do not know your neighborhood’s housing market or the pricing strategies unique to your particular area.  Therefore it’s vital that you only consider agents that have a proven sales track record in and around your neighborhood.  If they can sell houses in a 5-mile radius around your location then they can sell your house too.

Attention to Details

Top producing Realtors are observant to details.  They spot the smallest improvements that can make your house more marketable; take the best pictures that showcase your house; make create attractive MLS listings that stand out; and they make sure all of the contract requirements and obligations are met in a timely manner.


Top producing real estate agents have a buyers list and if that agent specializes in your area, then they have a list of buyers that want to buy in your area.  They also have connections with other Realtors in your area that may also have buyers that would be interested in your house too.


You want an agent that doesn’t easily give up.  A top-producing agent will pursue every lead that showed even the slightest interest in your house.  When your agent holds an open house, he/she should immediately contact everyone that visited your listing to discuss your house’s benefits and features with them.  Every missed lead is a missed opportunity and another day your house sits unsold.


Top producing Realtors aggressively market your house, making sure that it is always priced competitively and has the highest exposure to the most applicable buyers.  They are quick to adopt new techniques and strategies that set your house apart from the competition.


I’m not suggesting an agent should wear “37 pieces of flair” like in the movie Office Space.  However, a top producing real estate agent should know how to inject attention getting “flair” into your listing, be it in the form of staging, marketing materials, or the MLS listing information.

Ability to Use a Phone

This is a big one with me.  When you hire an agent, they become YOUR agent, which means they should return your phone calls.  Communication between you and your agent is crucial for a successful listing.  If your agent does not keep you informed of your listing’s progress then they aren’t doing their job.  Naturally, if they know they aren’t doing a good job selling your home, they won’t be calling you anyway.

Sold Something Recently

Top producing real estate agents are defined by the amount of houses they sell.  If an agent hasn’t sold anything recently then that agent may not be as successful as he/she pretends to be.

How Do You Find Top Producing Realtors?

Be Selective By Using AgentHarvest

Only look at agents that sold property, similar in size to yours, in a 5-mile radius around your property during the past six months.  If an agent can’t meet this criteria then don’t waste your time considering them.  These are the factors we use when we help our clients find real estate agents.  Our free real estate agent-finding services help you narrow down your list of quality agents.  By only selecting from agents that fit these criteria, you can be assured that those agents have experience selling houses, like yours, in your specific area or micro-territory in the current market.  AgentHarvest helps you weed out the agents that can’t sell or are not familiar with your area.

Interview Each Agent

When you interview each agent, make sure you ask everyone the same set of questions so you can compare and evaluate their responses.  Look at our article about real estate agent interview questions if you need any help determining what to ask.

Evaluate Track Records

Talk is cheap.  Make an agent backup what they say with facts.  The only facts that matter are the agent’s track records.  Does that agent have a pattern of pricing homes too high?  How long should it take for that agent to sell your house?  All of these questions and more can be answered by analyzing their track record.  Look at our article about analyzing real estate agent track records for more information.

Pick Your Favorite

After you evaluate all of the agents we send you look at all their materials, go over their interview answers, compare track records, then take a deep breath and pick your favorite agent.  If you take the time to properly evaluate each agent and find that you like more than one agent then go with your gut.  You really can’t make a wrong decision if you think both agents will do a great job selling your listing.  Pick the one you think you can work best with.

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.

This entry was posted in Hiring an Agent and tagged by Bill Petrey, Realtor. Bookmark the permalink.

About Bill Petrey, Realtor

Bill Petrey, the CEO and Founder of AgentHarvest, has been written about in the Los Angeles Times, Inman News, AOL Real Estate, and Inman Next, among others. He founded AgentHarvest for the sole purpose of making the process of finding a good Realtor better and easier. Bill Petrey is an author and editor of both The AgentHarvest Blog, Real Examples of Really Rotten Realty Blog, and the creator of Really Rotten Realty.

7 thoughts on “Successful Traits Shared By Top Producing Real Estate Agents

  1. Some very good points finding the right Realtor. For sellers it’s also best to interview at least 3 local agents that are experts and sell in your neighborhood.

  2. And everyone has to start somewhere before they become a top producing agent. I don’t think people should limit themselves only to those who’ve been in the business for a while. Some of us “newbs” are quite hungry for business and can do a much better job.

    • Good newbies quickly rise to the top. I agree, you shouldn’t pick someone based on the number of years they’ve been in the business. That would be a mistake. You should pick the agents that have a good track record of success. When we pick agents, we look for agents that sold 20 houses in 1 year, not 20 houses in 10 years. When we examine track records, we’re only interested in the past 12 months worth of data.

  3. The real estate industry, as a whole, is ever evolving. You first and foremost need to work with people who are evolving with it. However, there are a few timeless traits that make for a high-quality agent.


    These agents operate with an amount of drive that both allows you to complete your tasks efficiently and effectively while meeting the needs of their clients. Working with passionate agents helps ease the process for clients, because they can see that their broker is just as passionate about finding not only a new property, but the right property.


    The agents who aren’t afraid of transparency tend to be most successful. Most clients understand that the business of real estate is risky, not only with the nature of negotiations, but what may lie behind the walls and under the tiles once the property is purchased. So agents who keep their clients informed of all the details (even the ugly ones) are more likely to have returning customers, simply because they feel valued.


    Persistence is key, and going above and beyond asserts an agents drive to make their customer happy as well as their expertise in the field. They’re the ones constantly researching, communicating, adjusting, and updating to make sure their presenting the best options to their clients.

    • Don’t forget the most important trait:

      So many agents don’t even bother to call you back. And none of the traits you mentioned are worth anything if we never hear from them.

  4. Completely agree with you! Too many people are unable to do their job properly. Very detailed blog.
    Thanks for the good points!

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