Selecting the Right Real Estate Agent

Whether it’s a real estate investor or a personal home seller, selecting the right real estate agent for each person’s individual needs is important. But how does one go about interviewing real estate agents and selecting one that will adequately represent him/her? This helpful guide highlights several tips to choose a real estate agent that not only meets, but also exceeds a seller’s needs and expectations.

  1. Experience – Don’t hesitate to ask a real estate agent what he/she has listed and sold over the last year. An important question to consider is, of his/her listings that sold within the last year, what was the listing to sales price ratios? Does the agent have a history of overpricing or under pricing homes? Consider asking what area he/she specializes in – land, residential, commercial or investment. Also, is there a certain location where he/she specializes in selling residential homes?
  2. Licensing – Real estate agents are required to be licensed. This information can easily be looked up through state regulatory departments. These departments keep information about complaints or disciplinary actions. Also consider searching online for feedback related to the agent.
  3. Winners – Selecting an agent that has been endorsed by his/her peers is a huge accomplishment. Do they rate well with the National Association of Realtors®? If they work for a large corporation, such as Coldwell Banker, what awards did he/she recently win?
  4. Credentials – Real estate agents specialize in areas of real estate, which is especially true in large cities. Here’s a quick assessment of common credentials:
    1. Realtor® – This means that not only is the agent a licensed real estate professional, but he/she is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®, which holds members to advanced ethical practices.
    2. ABR – Known as an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, this means the agent specializes in working with buyers.
    3. CRS – Also called a Certified Residential Specialist, the agent has completed the required training to handle all types of residential real estate transactions.
    4. SRES – Known as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, this type of designation means an agent works with both buyers and sellers over 50 years old.
  5. Length of Time – Is the agent brand new to real estate or does he/she have more than 30 years of experience? If they’ve been in real estate less than five years, chances are the agent is still learning.
  6. Current Listings – Browse the agent’s current listings online via or the agent’s personal website. Does the agent have several homes listed that are similar? What areas are the homes in? Are the price ranges similar to the home you will be selling?
  7. Questions – Sometimes the best way to test an agent’s knowledge is to throw a question out there. If a house recently sold nearby, ask the agent about it. If he/she knows his/her information on the spot (selling price, days on market and details about the house), this is usually a good gauge if an agent is familiar with the area.


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