How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent for You

Team Simplist
Nov 9, 2021

If considering a home purchase or sale, make sure to find a Real Estate agent who fits your goals, style, and personality.

When approaching a real estate transaction, you should ensure you hire an agent who makes you feel at ease. Finding the right one for you is highly personal —for some people, a hard-nosed negotiator with a no-nonsense approach is ideal. Others prefer a nurturing energy to make the whole experience smoother and altogether enjoyable.

Whatever your situation may be, you can avoid unnecessary friction throughout the home-buying process by assessing your goals and needs upfront, and then taking the time to find an agent who aligns with these. We recommend searching through online reviews and using word-of-mouth where possible to make sure you find the best fit for you. Whether looking to buy or sell a home—or both—there are several factors that will likely influence your overall satisfaction with your real estate agent or broker.

Key Traits

Communication Effective communication is essential for a frictionless experience. When interviewing an agent, first make sure that you are able to easily communicate and understand each other. If you experience miscommunication before the process starts, that is an indicator of more to come. Once you’ve chosen an agent and begin working with them, ensure you and your agent are on the same page in terms of how you want to communicate (phone, text, email, in-person) and how often. Additionally, give your agent feedback on whether you are getting the right amount of detail. If you crave more details or want to hear from them more frequently, then make the request! Buying and selling property is a big deal, and it can feel stressful if you feel out of the loop. In fact, lack of communication tends to be the most commonly cited cause of dissatisfaction in the agent-client relationship.

Market Experience An agent needs to have experience and knowledge about the specific neighborhood(s) in which you are interested in purchasing or selling your home. They need to be familiar with the home value trends, school districts, service providers (e.g. inspectors), and have access to a relevant professional network to effectively market your property. A real estate transaction is about more than contracts and dollars – it’s also about connection and insight. Even if you know someone who is otherwise a perfect fit, you might want to look elsewhere if they aren’t in-the-know about the right neighborhood(s).

Niche Some agents work within a specific niche or specialty area. If you are looking for land in order to build a custom home, you’ll want an agent who specializes in land sales and new development rather than finished homes. If you are looking to buy a condo or coop in a big city, you’ll want your agent to be an expert with those property types. If you are looking for a luxury home, you’ll find more value in an agent who specializes in the high-end market, as opposed to one who works primarily with more modest properties.

Client Service Approach It’s important to ensure some degree of alignment between your level of familiarity with the real estate process and your agent’s way of operating. If, for example, you are a first-time homebuyer, you may require more information, and handholding than a more knowledgeable buyer. If the agent is unable to provide this type of service, perhaps because he or she is too busy or accustomed to working with more experienced clients, it may make sense for you to find an agent who offers a more personal touch. The home buying process should be an exciting time, so you deserve to work with someone who shares in your excitement!

Structure Some real estate businesses are boutique, one-person operations where the individual agent does everything from sign installation to sitting with you at the closing table. Others have support staff for transaction management and some communications. Still others may be operated by large teams, where you never really know who you’ll talk to when you call or email. Understand how your agent’s office is structured, and how communication is handled—that way, you can determine whether you prefer one model over the other.

The Ideal Agent for Homebuyers

For homebuyers,you’ll likely want to find someone who:

  • Listens to your goals and helps you develop a realistic action plan for finding the right home for you and your family
  • Hears your opinion while also providing the guidance and insights that you need to make informed decisions
  • Offers advice when asked but doesn’t push you in a particular direction that may better serve their interests
  • Understands where you are in your understanding of the process, and provides the right amount of guidance
  • Helps you study comparable properties in your chosen market to ensure that you don’t end up overpaying for your chosen property
  • Negotiates vigorously on your behalf and help you craft an offer that ensures you are competitive
  • Doesn’t push you to raise your budget to an unsustainable level, but develops alternative strategies while staying within your chosen budget
  • Has recommended service providers you will need throughout the process and beyond, and is open to you choosing your own when you have a preference
  • Focuses on you throughout the entire process and communicate clearly and consistently up to and beyond the closing

Ideal Agent for Home Sellers

For homesellers, you’ll likely want to find someone who:

  • Has experience selling real estate in your local market, preferably in your specific neighborhood
  • Works with homes that are similar to yours in terms of character, size, features, and price point
  • Understands your financial considerations and will help you formulate a plan to get the price you need
  • Is honest with you if you are tempted to overprice your home and will provide comparable properties to help you get the price right
  • Offers you advice on home repairs, improvements, and staging with alternative solutions if you are unable or unwilling to make changes prior to listing
  • Has a plan for effectively marketing your property both online and in-person
  • Has a track record of effectiveness: a history of properties with long marketing windows and properties on the market for a long period are red flags
  • Helps you navigate multiple offer situations and determine which offer is the right one for your particular situation
  • Assists you throughout the escrow period, telling you what to expect and acting on your behalf as needed
  • Helps you arrange a closing process that is as convenient and hassle-free as possible

By now, we hope you’re feeling well equipped to identify the perfect real estate agent for you and ready to move onto the next step! Simplist makes the mortgage process painless, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Our easy online application offers access to thousands of loan options, complemented by the expertise of a dedicated Simplist loan expert.

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