How To Choose a Realtor: Tips To Help You Find A Good Real Estate Agent

Things to Look for in a Realtor

Finding the right realtor to help you buy or sell a home is one of the most important steps in the real estate process. With so many options to choose from, it can feel overwhelming trying to decide which realtor is the best fit for you. But having an experienced realtor on your side can make all the difference in having a smooth, successful transaction.

Key Takeaways

  • Get suggestions from friends and family who’ve worked with realtors before.
  • Look for full-time realtors with years of experience and good online reviews.
  • Interview at least three realtors to get a sense of their style and expertise.
  • Ask for references and check them to learn about past clients’ experiences.
  • Make sure you feel comfortable with the realtor’s personality and communication style.
  • Examine your contract for terms like commission rates and length of agreement.

In my 10 years as a realtor, I’ve seen how having the right realtor-client relationship can turn a stressful experience into an exciting journey. Here are the top things savvy homebuyers and sellers should look for when choosing their real estate agent.

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Lean on Your Network for Referrals To Find A Real Estate Agent

Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients are a realtor’s best friend. So your first move should be tapping into your personal network for recommendations. Ask friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors and anyone else you know who’s recently worked with a realtor about their experiences.

Did they feel fully supported throughout the home buying or selling process? Were they happy with the outcome of the transaction? Would they use that realtor again in the future?

Positive feedback from people you trust goes a long way in identifying realtors who are knowledgeable, responsive and have a proven track record. According to a survey by Richard Morrison, over 80% of recent homebuyers said personal referrals were the most useful method for finding their realtor.

In my early days as a realtor, nearly all of my clients came through suggestions from past clients. I worked hard to provide an amazing experience so they’d be excited to recommend me to their friends and family. There’s no better endorsement than a glowing referral!

Seek Out Full-Time Realtors

Once you have a few potential realtors on your short list, take a closer look at their background and experience. Ideally, you want to work with a full-time realtor who focuses solely on real estate as their career, rather than someone who dabbles in it as a side hobby.

Full-time realtors are completely immersed in the industry. They have their fingers on the pulse of the local market at all times. They know the ins and outs of the home buying and selling process from years of hands-on experience. Their reputation and livelihood depends on providing excellent service.

Check for Strong Online Reviews To Help You Choose A Realtor

Today’s realtors build their brands and reputations online as much as offline. So head over to Google, Facebook, Yelp and other sites to see what past clients have said about potential realtors you’re considering.

A few negative reviews are normal, but look for realtors with mostly 4- and 5-star ratings. Pay attention to how they respond to critical feedback as well. The best realtors take responsibility, apologize for mistakes and show how they’ve improved their services.

Conduct Interviews to Find the Right Fit

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to interview your top realtor candidates. Sitting down together is the best way to get a firsthand sense of their working style and personality. You’ll be working closely together for weeks or months, so make sure your realtor is truly a good match.

Come prepared with questions that dig into their background, skills, specialties, communication preferences and more. How long have they been in real estate? How many clients do they work with at once? What neighborhoods and price ranges are they most familiar with?

Listen closely to their responses, and pay attention to your gut instinct. Do they listen attentively and answer your questions clearly? Do they exude competence and confidence? Is their communication style compatible with yours?

Ask for References and Check Them

Any realtor can say they provide great service. The proof is in what past clients have to say.

During interviews, request contact info for at least three recent clients you can reach out to directly. Speaking with them gives invaluable insight into what it’s really like to work with a particular realtor.

Ask them questions like: Were you pleased with the overall experience? Did the realtor have strong knowledge of the local market? Were they responsive and available when you needed them? Did they negotiate effectively on your behalf? Would you recommend them to a friend?

Ensure Your Personalities Mesh

Buying or selling a home often involves high stress and high stakes. You need a realtor who “gets” you and makes you feel completely at ease every step of the way.

Pay close attention to a realtor’s communication style during your interactions. Are they a good listener? Do they answer your questions patiently and thoroughly? Do they explain things clearly without too much industry jargon?

Consider your own personality as well. Maybe you prefer realtors who are more businesslike and formal. Or maybe you click better with laidback, casual types who crack jokes. There’s no “right” personality—just find the one that meshes best with yours.

Questions To Ask A Realtor Before Committing To Him 

When looking for a realtor to list your home, it is important to ask the right questions. First, what is the realtor’s listing agent? Are they working for a brokerage and do they have a newsletter or other materials that can help you promote your property? It is also important to know their average commission and whether or not they are members of the National Association of Realtors. Additionally, inquire about previous listings and how long they have been in the realty business.

Furthermore, research properties in the area and find out what kind of marketing materials they will provide to help you market your home. Finally, ask if you can unsubscribe from their service at any time if things don’t work out or if you decide to hire another agent. Asking these key questions can help you feel confident when making financial decisions and finding the right one to help with your next real estate deal. 

Review Your Contract Terms and Commission

Before officially signing with a realtor, examine the contract agreement closely. Pay particular attention to:

Length of Contract: Aim for six months or less. The housing market moves fast, so you don’t want to lock yourself in too long.

Commission Rate: The standard is around 5-6% split between listing and buyer’s agents. This rate may be negotiable in some cases.

Early Termination Clause: Make sure you can exit the contract if you end up unhappy with the realtor’s services.

Also confirm whether the realtor charges flat fees for certain services on top of commission. Know exactly what you’re agreeing to upfront to avoid surprises down the road.

I’m always fully transparent about my fees and contract terms so clients feel empowered making the choice to work together. No fine print or hidden costs.

FAQs:

How Does the Average Number of Houses Sold by Realtors Impact Their Performance?

Analyzing home sales data insights per realtor allows for a clear evaluation of their effectiveness in the market. Realtors with higher sales numbers indicate their proficiency in closing deals and establishing strong client relationships.

Q: What should I look for when choosing someone to help me sell my home?

A: When you’re looking for an agent to help you sell your home, it’s important to find someone who understands the local market, has experience marketing the home and can give you a good working relationship. You’ll want to interview at least three different agents before making a decision.

Q: What tips can help me find a good real estate agent when buying a home?

A: Hiring the right real estate broker is like dating; you need to do your homework and dig a little deeper. Look for someone who knows the area, has experience helping buyers find their dream home and has a proven marketing plan to get your home online. If they work full-time in real estate, it’s usually a good sign.

Q: Is there any way to get in touch with local realtors?

A: You may be able to find local realtors by searching online or through word-of-mouth referrals. You can also look for flyers or newsletters advertising agents in the area. Once you have some names, contact them in person or over the phone and get a feel for whether you’re compatible.

Q: Are there any interview questions I should ask potential real estate agents?

A: Yes! When interviewing potential agents, ask questions about their experience level, how long they’ve been in business, how many homes they’ve sold recently and what kind of marketing strategies they use. It’s also important to know the commission fees involved – typically sellers pay around 3% of the purchase price of their property.

Q: How do I know if I’m hiring the right agent?

A: The best way to tell if you are hiring the right agent is by asking lots of questions and getting references from past clients. Look up reviews online as well as speaking with other people who have used their services. Ultimately, it comes down to finding someone that you trust will work hard on your behalf.

Q: What other factors should I consider when hiring an agent?

A: When hiring an agent, make sure that they understand personal finance so they can advise you on whether buying or selling is the best option for your situation. Also consider whether they are unbiased; if they recommend one particular neighborhood or property too strongly then this could be an indication that something isn’t quite right.

Q: Should I check my credit score before working with an agent?

A: Yes! It’s always recommended that you check your credit score before working with a real estate agent. This will help ensure that everything goes smoothly during closing deals and make sure that all paperwork is properly filed.

Q: Does it cost anything extra to hire an agent?

A : Typically , yes . Most real estate agents will charge commission fees , which are typically around 3 % of the total purchase price of your property . However , these fees are often paid by sellers , not buyers .

Q : Are there any resources available that can help me decide which agent is right for me ?

A : Yes ! Before making any decisions , it ’ s important to research different agents and compare their qualifications . Check out online reviews , read testimonials from past clients , ask friends and family for recommendations , or even look at flyer advertisements from local realtors . Above all else , make sure that you take time to interview at least three different agents before making any decisions .

Q : Do I need to sign a contract with my chosen realtor ?

A : Usually yes ; most reputable agents will require some sort of formal agreement between themselves and their clients before beginning work together . This agreement will outline expectations such as payment terms and timelines as well as outlining duties of both parties involved . Always read through contracts thoroughly before signing anything !

How Can a Good Real Estate Agent Help Sell My Home Faster?

A skilled real estate agent possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to expedite the sale of your home. You can benefit from our fast home selling tips and maximize the chances of selling your home quicker.

Conclusion

  • Lean on suggestions from satisfied contacts
  • Ensure they work in real estate full time
  • Check for positive online reviews
  • Interview multiple options to find your match
  • Ask for and contact references directly
  • Confirm your personalities mesh well
  • Review contract terms and commission rates

With the right realtor partner, your home buying or selling journey doesn’t have to be a bumpy ride. Use these tips to find the real estate agent who perfectly complements your needs and personality—and be prepared to turn one of life’s biggest transactions into a smooth success.


Ready to turn your real estate dreams into reality? Contact Richard Morrison, Vancouver’s top realtor with 20+ years of experience. As a Medallion Club member and RE/MAX Hall of Fame award winning agent, he’s the expert you need on your side. Whether buying, selling, or investing, Richard’s personalized approach and deep market insights ensure a successful transaction. Reach out to Richard today at (778) 900-2235 and make your real estate journey seamless and rewarding.

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Richard Morrison

My name is Richard Morrison and I aim to empower people to buy and sell real estate in the most effective way possible. I can service all of your Metro Vancouver real estate needs & beyond. I specialize in Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver West, Richmond, Burnaby and other areas in the Lower Mainland BC Canada. You can be assured that whether buying or selling your home, I will get the job done. I offer a full compliment of real estate services with 15+ years of experience. About Richard Morrison

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