How to Pick a Real Estate Agent

It’s no secret that choosing the right real estate agent can make or break your home

buying or selling experience. The wrong agent can cost you thousands of dollars or

add stress and sleepless nights to an already stressful process. The good news is

that it doesn’t take much time or effort to find an agent who meets your needs.

Taking the time to interview a number of agents and weigh their people skills and

expertise can help you narrow down your options.

As you interview agents, look for the following qualities:

A good real estate agent should be knowledgeable about the local market. This

means they’ll know how quickly homes in your area are selling, what challenges

buyers and sellers face in the current market, and the best ways to price a home

competitively. It also means they’ll be able to answer questions about schools,

neighborhood amenities, and other things that matter to you as a buyer or seller.

The best real estate agents have a strong track record of success. Ask candidates

how long they’ve been in business and note whether they have a proven sales

history. You can also see how many listings they currently have on the market by

searching their name on Zillow’s Agent Finder tool, which notes the number of

homes they’ve sold. It’s a good idea to also check online reviews and other data

about the candidate’s background.

In addition to talking about your property goals, you’ll want to hear the agent’s plan

for achieving those goals. For example, if you’re selling your home, the agent should

be clear on how they’ll market it and how many showings they expect each week.

They should also be clear about any requirements you have for the transaction, such

as a deadline for closing or needing to sell within a certain window to avoid capital

gains taxes. Also read


The people skills an agent has can be as important as their real estate knowledge.

You’ll need to spend a lot of time working with your agent, so it’s important that you

feel comfortable with them and that they understand your expectations. Listen for

signs that an agent isn’t a good fit, such as aggressiveness or dishonesty.


Once you’ve finished interviewing agents, consider all of your options and make a

decision. You should have a solid shortlist of potential agents from the referrals

you’ve received, your on-the-ground research, and online exploration. Then, trust

your gut to choose the right person for you. If you put the time and effort into

finding the right agent, you’ll end up with a smoother, less stressful real estate

experience. For more tips on how to pick a real estate agent, check out this article

from NerdWallet.