Professional services should always be provided by those who have the knowledge, expertise, and empathy level needed to offer great service and advice—and real estate agents are no exception. In most states, however, real estate licenses are granted to applicants with only a brief licensing class, a cursory background check, and a basic licensing examination.
While all these factors can make it relatively easy to become a real estate agent and begin to work toward a successful career, it can also make it more difficult for prospective real estate buyers and sellers to find an agent with sufficient experience and expertise to offer great service. Luckily there are a few tips that prospective buyers and sellers can use to help them narrow their search and find the best agent for their needs.
1. Begin with historical information
Determining an agent's level of expertise in the real estate industry begins with looking at their past transactions. Agents who have a significant number of well-priced, well-marketed listings for sale, as well as several successfully closed transactions in the past 1–2 years offer more seasoned expertise to their clients than agents with few or no recent listings and transactions.
2. Verify the communication policy
The best real estate transactions are those where the agent and their clients work together closely throughout the entire transaction. As in any profession, some real estate agents may be better than others at maintaining frequent communication with their clients. Because of this fact, prospective buyers and sellers should strive to verify the type of communication each agent they interview offers.
Those agents who pride themselves on maintaining good communications with their clients are likely to offer an established communication policy. A good communication policy will outline the types of communications that work best for the agent and a time frame that helps clients understand when they should expect the agent to give them a response.
3. Seek confirmation through references
Once prospective buyers and sellers have narrowed their search process to one or two agents, verifying references from past and present clients can help them with the final decision-making process. During the reference verification process, prospective buyers and sellers can ask previous clients about their overall experience with the agent, including how well the transaction was managed and whether they considered the level of communication to be positive.
Prospective buyers and sellers should reach out to local real estate agents to learn more and find their next home.