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  • Writer's pictureDave Dail

Choosing a real estate agent should be looked at like choosing a business partner.

Real estate purchases and sales are probably the most expensive purchases people make in their lives. They should be given consideration as such.

Yet, everyone knows a realtor. Your co-worker's spouse, your mom’s neighbor, or the little league coach also has their real estate license. But you wouldn’t necessarily go into business with these people.

You would not want to partner with someone who has a poor reputation because that person is representing you. This also applies to your real estate agent.

Your real estate agent has their own reputation, and rapport with other agents and businesses in your area.

Choosing a reputable agent will mean that you will get the best possible result out of your transaction.

To help you choose a great realtor, here are 5 qualities to look for and questions to keep in mind, before you sign your next realtor.

1. Responsiveness-

This one is fairly simple and self explanatory.

When you contact a realtor, do they respond? If so how long does it take?

Time is of the essence in real estate transactions. If your realtor is not quick to respond to you (when you have hired them), what do you think their response time is to other agents or loan officers?

Aside from the timing, what about the quality of their responses?

Do you feel like their response was appropriate for the discussion at hand?

Was the agent short with you?

Did they explain enough to your satisfaction?

These are big transactions and you should not be feeling like they did not communicate appropriately with you or left in the dark.

How busy are they?

Maybe the ones with the most signage around town will be too busy to work with you directly. Then they will have their assistants doing the majority of their work with you?

And instead of working directly with the agent you hired, you’re working with other office workers.

2. Expertise-

Remember your agent is representing you, the client. You’ve chosen them to manage this transaction and they are doing so for you.

How will your realtor navigate the challenges of a real estate transaction?

There are many parts to a real estate transaction, and many people involved outside of your agent. This means there are many issues that can arise.

What does your agent do to preemptively avoid some issues like coming in under appraisal?

Do they suggest a pricing strategy that adequately reflects your property size and condition?

What about your agent’s professionalism?

How do they treat you and others involved when there’s a problem?

Can they handle issues in a way that you want to be represented?

Agents with expertise will be able to keep their cool and treat everyone involved with respect.

3. Negotiation Skills-

Negotiating for real estate goes much further than the mutually agreed upon price on a property. It also goes much farther than you and your side of the deal.

A good real estate agent has the ability to meet your needs as well as strive to make the other side of the transaction happy.

Sometimes your agent will have to put their foot down and make sure you, their client, is getting what they need out of the deal. That is to be expected and is 100% acceptable. But when it is appropriate, your agent may need the skills to get you the client to compromise.

A red flag would be an agent damaging relationships and breaking trust to get their client's deal accepted no matter what.

Nobody wants to work with someone who is unreasonable and compromises standards.

A good real estate agent will use the best negotiation tactics, hopefully leaving both parties happy at the closing table.

4. Understanding-

A reputable real estate agent will take the time to get to know their client and what they need.

Maybe a client needs a quick move, and needs help with getting their house ready to list.

Maybe a client needs some time with a longer closing or a rent back situation due to a long distance move.

Maybe a client is struggling to find a first time home in a very expensive market.

Every client has specific needs that typically are dependent on other variables in their life. A good real estate agent will take the time to listen and understand the client’s pain points.

Then a good agent will do their best to relieve their pain points.

5. Cooperative-

A real estate sale is like a group project. How an agent participates in that group project matters and reflects upon their business.

Real estate transactions involve a lot of different people. There are other agents, appraisers, loan officers, title companies, inspectors and more.

How cooperative your agent is with others ultimately effects the smoothness of your transaction.

If your agent has a reputation for not sharing responsibilities in a transaction, other agents will not want to make deals with them. If your agent is difficult to negotiate with, again other agents will not want to work with them.

Maybe your agent does not have a good rapport with others but needs a favor to get your transaction done. Chances are they will not be able to get them done as easily as an agent who is great to work with.

Ultimately the agent’s professionalism (or lack of) from prior transactions will affect every future transaction


The bottom line is that your agent’s reputation is a good predictor of the success of your transaction. Check agent reviews and do not be afraid to interview a few agents. Ask inspectors, local loan offices, businesses and appraisers what they think of agents you are thinking of hiring.

In the end it is you, the client, who is partnering with a real estate agent. When you sign that contract, they represent you, with all their pros and all their cons. Do some due diligence to make sure you choose the best real estate partner and have the best outcome.

Are you looking for a realtor in North Idaho? I would enjoy the opportunity to discuss how I can help you with your real estate needs. Shoot me a text or call at 208-310-0855.


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