What To Look For In A Real Estate Agent

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What To Look For In A Real Estate Agent

By: Tom Levine

Real Estate Agents play an essential, critical role in the process of buying and selling a home. You just simply cannot afford to work with an agent that does not exhibit top-scale professional values. We're talking about your primary investment, and the happiness of you and your loved ones.

Here are the 3, most important things that I've encountered, that I believe contribute towards excellence in the profession of Real Estate agents.

  1. To Serve
  2. To Know
  3. To Listen

1.) To Serve:

Real Estate is a service business, and homeowners and buyers must be treated with the respect that they deserve. A Real Estate Agent must demonstrate that they care about you, and that their primary concern is to serve your needs, and not their own.

  1. Look for agents that carry cell phones everywhere they go, and that have no problem taking late night calls, or being interrupted during a Saturday morning snooze. This isn't a rib of steak you're buying (or selling). It is more important than everything and anything, and it can be a stressful, anxious process to go through. Customers deserve a confidant, and to be treated with the utmost of care.
  2. Avoid agents that think they know everything. Seek out agents yearning to find out about you, and your likes, dislikes, and opinions. Avoid agents hail-bent on trying to prove what an encyclopedia of wisdom and advice they are. You're thoughts matter too!
  3. Your time is important. If you want to see 20 properties or more, don't let anyone stop you. A Real Estate agent that encourages you to look, and explore, is more worthy of your time, than an agent that tries to fit you into their busy schedule. This is your buying experience, not theirs.

2.) To Know:

I believe that knowledge is gained through familiarity. So, having a real estate agent that is familiar with the landscape of the land is of critical importance.

  1. I like agents that have lived in the area for a while, that know all the names of the streets, and that know the high schools, the local grocery stores, and the local parks.
  2. I enjoy listening to an agent's own personal experiences, as we drive through neighborhoods, or review demographics. It's not as important to me that they're old, or young, or rich, or hungry, or just like me, or nothing like me, or whatever. As long as the stories are real, and are related, that's all that matters.
  3. I think an agent needs to be always on. Do they have access to all the information at all times? Do they constantly look for new properties, or new values, and do they have networked connections locally to appraisers, and loan officers, and title companies? Are they always thinking about my circumstance, and trying to connect the dots in my interest? I don't want to be sold on decisions that earn commissions. I want to be guided to properties and professionals that best meet my needs.

3.) To Listen:

There is no greater communication skill, then the ability to listen. Most of us find it next to impossible, to be silent, and take it all in. We all strive to be the center of attention, the story of the day, and the opinion worth listening to.

  1. Real Estate agents that master the art of listening can truly hone in on your needs. These are the agents worth keeping in your rolodex, because they can tune in to your desires, your personality, your financial profile, and all critical elements of the deal, without your even being aware of it.
  2. This is not so easy to spot, because often times, the ability to listen is overlooked. A good listener, after all, probably isn't speaking as much. But consider this: Is the conversation mostly about you? Does the agent ask a lot of questions relating to your personal tastes, experiences, and ideas? Do you find yourself walking away, feeling a satisfaction about the dialog? These are all signs that you've just come into contact with a master listener.
  3. And the real testament to an agent that listens, is when they finally do speak. Usually, when they do say something, it's really, really important, and right on target, and completely unforgettable. Why? Because, they've spent most of their time absorbing you and your situation, and then they nail you with the bomb...Their recommendations that truly will change your life forever. I swear to you, it's golden. You'll get a much better property bought or sold, if you can find a real estate agent that knows how to listen.

We've enjoyed providing this information to you, and we wish you the best of luck in your pursuits. Remember to always seek out good advice from those you trust, and never turn your back on your own common sense.

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About The Author

Tom Levine

Copyright 2005, by http://www.loans-resource.com/, This article is available in full format at: http://www.loans-resource.com/article-in-a-real-estate-agent.htm, Tom Levine provides a solid, common sense approach to solving problems and answering questions relating to consumer loan products. His website seeks to provide free online resources for the consumer, including rate-watch, tips and articles, financial communication, news, and links to products and services. You can check out Tom's website here: http://www.loans-resource.com/.



Aaron 09.10.2009. 05:27

We are moving to Los Angeles and are looking for a great real estate agent. Any suggestions? We are looking for a real estate agent in Studio City and the areas around it such as sherman oaks, beverly hills, hollywood hills. Any suggestions?


Admin 09.10.2009. 05:27

There are many to choose from; probably best to do some "homework" and look online for homes in the areas you are interested in, and see who the agencies are...www.realtor.com is one such 'site. (PS you do know that those areas will command lots of $$$)


Linda M 14.08.2011. 04:16

What kinds of questions should I ask a real estate agent when selling my home? Looking for a real estate agent to sell my home. What kinds of questions should I ask them to make sure they will be fair and get me a good price or anything else I may need to know.

Linda M

Admin 14.08.2011. 04:16

- What's the market value of my home through a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of homes sold and still active and how long they were on the market for, if they're comparable and how so, etc.

- How will you advertise my home besides MLS? Is it on your website? Do you put ads in the real estate papers? Do you send out flyers?

- Do you do all your own open houses and broker opens?

- Have you ever been sued or had a complaint against you registered with your real estate board or brokerage? What was it regarding? (Some realtors have been sued successfully and reprimanded by their boards several times and these generally aren't the type you want if what they did was unethical or just unprofessional).

- Is there anything you'd recommend doing to the home prior to putting it on the market? (Staging, painting rooms or exterior, fixing the fence etc)

- How much commission do you charge?

- Are there any fees outside of commission? Who pays the advertising and any other fees?

- Will you do all the showings or do you use a lockbox? (I would never lockbox a property. I find it lazy. If I'm going to make money off someone, I expect to earn it. Also, I'm legally responsible if anything goes missing, so I want to be there to gauge interest and to also keep an eye out for my client's personal belongings).


heavyd 01.10.2007. 19:54

How to look for a real estate agent? I am going to sell my first house soon and need to find a real estate agent. What criteria should I look for in one and how much comission should I be expecting? THanks.


Admin 01.10.2007. 19:54

Most real estate agents get a 6% commission for the sale. The rest is yours, minus any balance you owe on the house and other minor charges during the sale process. The agent will outline all this before listing your house.

We were lucky with our agent. He came highly recommended through a co-worker. Another co-worker and his wife interviewed real estate agents before selecting the one they felt comfortable selling their house with.


novawaly 12.09.2008. 16:52

What is the best way to find a good real estate agent who knows NYC well? I'm looking for a place in NYC that will also be a good investment, where should I look for a real estate agent who would be knowledgeable in this area?


Admin 12.09.2008. 16:52

I would google Re-Max agents in the NYC area and read as many profiles as I could. Then I would pick 3 and see if I could interview them. Then I would choose one to work with. The Real Estate agent HAS to know that you are serious buyer however, since he or she doesn't want their time wasted. Good luck.


honeybear 17.03.2008. 14:25

What is the first step to becoming a real estate agent? I am looking into becoming a real estate agent. But I have no idea where to start. What do I do?


Admin 17.03.2008. 14:25

You better go to your local Community College and register for a evening or weekend or one week class - because it is cheaper.
All licensing exam are computerized and will be at an one location recognized by local government.

The college will give you enough info also how to interview the real estate companies in your area when you decide to start with somebody. At the beginning you need a big company that will provide in house training for free or for an acceptable fee.


GPack 17.10.2012. 14:21

What does it take to become a Real Estate Agent in Texas? I am looking to become a Real Estate Agent in the Austin, Texas area upon completion of my contract with the U.S. Army. I have a background in broadcast journalism and public affairs so I know how to talk to people and I was a salesman at a car dealership before joining the military.


Admin 17.10.2012. 14:21

A real estate agent is a licensed individual capable of overseeing sales on real estate. In the state of Texas, real estate agents must complete 210 hours of classroom instruction so that they can effectively answer questions and be of assistance to those looking to purchase real estate. Other duties performed by real estate agents include listing and showing properties, listing agreements and filling out paperwork for contracts. With the right education and commitment, you can become a real estate agent in Texas.


Fergy 22.03.2008. 02:59

Where can I find a good, aggressive real estate agent who specializes with investors? I am a real estate investor and am looking for a experienced real estate agent as well as a real estate broker who specializes with investors. Can anyone please tell me how to find one, I have googled, ect and haven't come up with much.
Thank you.


Admin 22.03.2008. 02:59

You have to join a real estate investment group AND BE ACTIVE!

In your areqm there may be a landlord association or a real estate investment group.

Its up to you to do your homework.

You cuold call a few offices to make an appointment to look at some property OR tqke one or two out to breakfast or lunch.

OR you could go for a little ride in your neighborhood or area. Look for complexes and the names of those offices managing them.

Thanks for asking your Q! I enjoyed answering it!

Ron Berue
Yes, that is my real last name!


ElasticRaven 19.01.2013. 17:55

When to contact a real estate agent and start making offers? First time buying a home. I'm still saving up for the down payment and other initial expenses - I'll have enough in September or October.

I'm looking at places online, but I have a friend that says I should be seriously looking at places already. I don't see how this is possible. Nobody is going to wait 8 months for me to save more money. Would the bank even approve me for a loan if I don't have the down payment yet?

So when should I start seriously looking and contacting real estate agents?


Admin 19.01.2013. 17:55

Far too early. You're right that nobody will wait 8 months for you to close a purchase.

You should contact a mortgage lender to obtain a pre-qualification letter based on your income and credit. In order to get a mortgage, you will need:

2 years solid work experience
Minimum FICO Score of 620
2 years of tax returns, 2 bank statements, and 2 pay stubs

You can borrow up to 3 times your gross annual earnings.

Read "Home Buying for Dummies" to learn more about the process BEFORE contacting a real buyers estate agent. Otherwise, you will likely make mistakes costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.


Aaron 15.08.2012. 15:20

Is it legal for a real estate agent to disclose your plans to someone else? I wanted to look at three homes but a real estate agent told me she could not show them homes. The day after I emailed her, all three offers in. Isn't that illegal.


Admin 15.08.2012. 15:20

You are rather unclear in your question. A real estate agent cannot show a property for sale UNLESS the listing agent and the seller agree to such showing. There may well have been offers tendered, and the seller wished to choose from those offers.


F 21.12.2009. 01:11

Where can I find a black Real Estate agent? I am looking for a black Real Estate agent in Hillsborough, Manatee or Sarasota County, Florida.


Admin 21.12.2009. 01:11

The best way to find a black real estate agent is to search for homes/apt.s in a black area. Usually black agents deal with black neighborhoods. Or just flat out put an ad on craigslist looking for a black agent to assist you. There's nothing wrong with wanting someone the same race as you to help you but you should be open minded. Sometimes the people that we think CAN'T help us, are the people that CAN.


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