You’ve finally decided it’s time for a change, but before you can make your move a reality, you first need to find the perfect agent to help you make it happen. In an average sized city, there can be up to forty different realty groups that contain anywhere from 10-15 agents each, so out of 130 qualified, smiling faces, how do you even begin to find the perfect one to help sell or buy your house?

First, find an agent who deals with sales and transactions within your price range.

If you’re buying a $500,000 house, you don’t want an agent who deals with trailers or condos. Make sure they have experience with what you’re looking for in order to minimize the chances of getting taken advantage of by potential home buyers or sellers.

Stray away from connections.

I know it sounds great to help your sister-in-law or best friend gain commission on your sale, but it is often very helpful to have someone separated from the situation be in charge. Perhaps they have an idea you’ve never heard of or suggest a new neighborhood to try. Friends and family can sometimes cloud your judgment, and separated agent isn’t likely to push you into doing or buying something you don’t want , only because of their benefit.

Look around the neighborhood

If you’re looking to buy in a certain neighborhood, take a look at all the other listings in the area. See if one realty group tends to dominate, or if they are spread evenly out. If a house has been on the market for six months and has still yet to sell, perhaps stay away from that agent if you’re looking to get up and go. If the agent has already been successful in the neighborhood, he or she is obviously doing a great job.

Commission Costs

No one wants to spend an arm and a leg to pay someone to help them sell a house they are already going to have to take a loan out on, but in realty, not all of us can be “For Sale by Owner” people. That being said the necessity of an agent is a reality, but you certainly don’t want to pay more than you have to. Do your research and compare commission costs of top agents to their success rate, and try to get the best service for your money.

Pick someone you like

This might seem unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, but in the coming weeks and possible months of the buying and selling process, you will be spending a lot of time with your agent. While the majority of the time will be spent collaborating on Open Houses and showings, a lot of this time will probably be spent in meetings of discussion or disagreement. It’s important that you’re on the same page, because if  you don’t get along, you’re less likely to trust their judgment which could lead to all sorts of other problems.

Buying and selling a home is a stressful process, but with the assistance of the perfect realty agent, your experience can actually be a rewarding and pleasant one. Before diving into business with the agent your brother-in-law suggested, do some research and find the agent who is guaranteed to land you the house of your dreams with the least amount of dread.


Written by Emerson Heflin