I'd say what you want is someone that is in it to give you the best deal. I acknowledge that they work on commissions, but an agent that is there for you, is someone you'll go back to. Someone that makes you feel comfortable is someone when you need the extra room you'll hop on their bandwagon to move, instead of saying "It was hard enough the first time, how can we remodel or at most add extra additions onto this house so we dont have to go through this again". And someone who does there homework... okay, my client likes this style, so I need to research homes of this kind, they want flat land or a straight drop off the back, so i need to narrow that down. Okay now, appliances, whats staying, do they like gas or electric, what's the year of the house, is there alot of crime in this neighborhood, basic questions that are necessary.
Finding an agent is like finding an employee.... anyone can write a good resume, if you've talked to them on the phone and they show up at the first interview with no information besides a contract, tell them they're not what you're looking for and move on.
That's my piece!
What are the signs of a good agent is a great question and I look forward to reading the different responses you receive.
Red Rock Realty
Continuous education and knowledge of the market is also very important but only to the extent that the agent is focused on the client. You can be the smartest and most well informed agent but if you dont listen to your client, you wont be seeing many referrals.
A full-time professional agent will be fully ensconced in the market place and up-to-date on local conditions. Buying and Selling a home or property is one of the largest investments any of us every make and should be treated as such by everyone involved in the process.
A "Good Agent" will be aligned with other professionals within the industry who bring to the table the wherewithal to bridge any issues which may arise along the way.
An good buyer agent, responds to your emails and phone calls. They will also explain things that you dont understand, so that you are comfortable with the process. An good buyer agent will know the inventory of property for sale in your target area, and try their best to meet your criteria for a home, and stay within your budget.
An excellent Buyer agent will have knowledge of the market in general,preview listings so you don't waste your time, be a Realtor and adhere to the code of ethics,be professional,treat you with respect and earn your trust and your business!
2. know the market in the areas thatthey are selling omes in,
3. Provde answers to clients in a timely manner, anif they dont knwo the answer, tell the cient the truth and then find out the correct information,
4. Put themselves last on a transaction, customers come first.
5, Return phone calls and emails,
6. Do what ever they can do to make the transaction go smoothly as possible.
Ask questions! Some posts here state ' dont use a part time realtor" I disagree with that statement, while I am full time but i have met and worked with some excellen part timers, you will find many techerswho during the summer months sell real estate as a part time job. Many of those "part tmers" wil only have one or two listings to focs one, however 90 percent of all listings are sold by another realtor other than the listing agent.
Realtors are supposed to be more than just salesperson. They are supposed to be Consultants who take their client's best interest into consideration. You do what's right for the client and the commission will follow b/c you will obtain referals and clients for life.
Lastly, they need to listen when you talk. If they are always interupting and not really listening to your questions and concerns then they won't do you justice. A realtor must be available 7 days a week... none of this part time realtor stuff. How can you put in 100% effort in Realty and hold down a full time job at the same time. Realty is a full time job.!!!
You need to do a lot of research, be smart, interview atleast 3 agents before you hire. See their treck record- even if the agent is selling homes like crazy does NOT mean she's getting you the right price or is working for you. For her your home just means another house or another number but taking a 7-8% loss on your biggest transaction can affect you badly.
The agent needs to be straightforward, honest, and AVAILABLE- you certainly don't want to always hear her voice mail once you hire her! And she must truly be able to do full justice to each client by giving right advice, be available when you need to reach them. The client doen't care for how many homes this agent is selling- if she can not do justice!
If you're buying a home a good buyer's agent will be available when you are, and work hard to find the right property for you. If your agent doesn't return your calls, or doesn't seem to listen to what you're saying it's time to work with one that does.
Just a few thoughts.
David Wain Realty
Good real estate agents treat their clients the way their clients want to be treated.
Two interesting scenarios come to mind:
Agent working within a Team environment - Agents bring listings to team leader and they are advertised and marked using team leader's name and signage only. This would dramatically boost the number of listings to one agent. Buyer's agent working within the team sells team listings, which also boosts team leaders "sold" numbers.
Agent working individually - Individual agents can only handle so many listings, perhaps 10-15 max. Most are very organized, detailed and results oriented. Success depends soley on their contributions to the whole. They cannot turn over responsibilities to team associates and tend to work the hardest to achieve success.
Clients interest come first. If you can combine all these attributes together with the core value, the signs of a good agent are flashing brightly right before your eyes.
As you can see by the many excellent answers you have received that there are many good signs...but it is far more important to tell you what signs you need to stay away from that would indicate an agent that will only bring you grief.
I have to address the commission issue that is being bantered about here...some of the answers you received specifically dictates a commission percentage as being the "industry standard", and I absolutely MUST tell you (and all you agents that are reading this!) that COMMISSIONS ARE NEGOTIABLE BY LAW!!!! To indicate there is any kind of 'usual, customary, standard' commission is a clear violation of the Anti Trust laws (regulated by the Department of Justice, by the way) and is a FELONY.
So PLEASE do not tell anyone there is an "industry standard"...each firm determines their brokerage fees independent of any other company (in many cases the individual agent determines their own commission rates).
This is definitely one of the signs you need to steer away from: Agents that are uninformed of the laws and ethics of their own profession! Find someone that has spent time and money on educating themselves in real estate.
Michele M. Hunt, GRI, CRS, SFR, CDRS
1998 REALTOR of the Year
Realty Executives Platinum
Professional - courteous, well mannered and well maintained
Modest - beware of too much "flash and panache"
Knowledgeable - provides accurate data and can speak to it
Positive - makes things happen
Strategic - is prepared with a plan...and contingency plans
Referencable by clients - would they use this individual again??
They are not afraid to tell you the truth instead of just telling what you want to hear.
An excellent agent is someone who has the ability to project where your homes value is going, understand where it is today and offset the difference with strategic marketing.
Thank you TVS_FAM of Murrieta! Great question!
Kim Duclos CRS ABR GRI
Coldwell Banker Wardley
The next agent we worked with took us into neighborhoods and homes we didn't know we could afford. We bought a home through him and ended up sending 3 other couples to him who also purchased.
The sign of a good agent,...
One that listens to what you say and answers your questions.
One that is intuitive to your needs.
One that takes the time to show you what you want.
One that knows the marketplace.
One who is knowledgeable.
One who is experienced.
One who is a good negotiator.
One who respects you.
and above all,..
One that puts your interests first.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
I didn't realize until then things were so bad in the industry that Agents were now for Sale.
I don't think that was the Sign of a Good Agent...Just my opinion
Honesty: Already mentioned, but deserves to be listed again.
Great Listener: You want a Realtor who LISTENS to what your needs are.
Customer Service: You want a Realtor who then delivers and provides you with the information and services you want and need.
Interview a few Realtors. Experience is great, but it is not the complete package. Look for the complete package. You want a true partner who will assist you every step of the way and provide you with the services and information you need to make confident decisions.
April Tavares, GRI
Realtor, DRE License #01742179