For most people, buying a home is often the biggest financial event of their lives, making it vital to have someone to guide you who will get it done right. While you’ll likely have many options for licensed real estate agents in your community, be sure to pay attention to their experience.
Here are some things to look for in an agent that will highlight their ability to get you through the entire process and to the closing table:
- Real estate agent or Realtor: While both terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Agents are licensed to conduct real estate transactions like buying and selling commercial and residential properties. Realtors are active members of the National Association of Realtors™ (NAR). Just as one can be a Realtor without being an agent, one can also be an agent without being a Realtor, so be sure to check the credentials.
- Listings and Sales Stats: Numbers matter when it comes to comparing agents. When reviewing your options, ask about an agent’s listings and sales data like list price, days on market and sales price. Figures that reveal consistency can help you identify a top-producing agent.
- Closing Percentage: Agents get better with every single closing. That’s because they often have to overcome many challenges to get to the table, requiring them to be proactive and solutions-focused when it matters most. When looking for an agent, ask about their track record, meaning, how many transactions they’ve closed in the past year, especially for similar properties to yours. Experience matters.
- Industry Designations: Often, real estate agents will go beyond their basic licensing requirements and complete additional education to achieve other certifications. Depending on your needs, these designations can be important to indicate an agent’s familiarity with issues specific to your situation, like those involving seniors (SRES) or military personnel (MRP).
- Local Knowledge: All experience isn’t equal. For the most relevant background, look for an experienced local real estate agent with micro-level knowledge of the area. That way, he or she can give you insight into the neighborhood, what’s selling, the inventory and comparable properties. A good way to find out who’s active in your community is to drive around and look for signs or ask for referrals.
Whether you’re preparing to buy or sell, use this list to identify an agent with the experience to get the deal done. Ready to get started? We'll help you find a top, local agent.