My colleagues have all provided informative responses to your question; and I would like to add several other pointers as well that will help you make an informed decision.
â€¢ The first question you should ask is whether the agent is a REALTORÂ®.
â€¢ Does the agent have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your stateâ€™s governing agency.
â€¢ Is real estate their full-time career?
â€¢ Ask how long the real estate agent has been working full time. It is not that newer agents aren't capable; it just is a factor in making an informed decision. Many "experienced" agents are not always the best choice either. Especially if they haven't kept up with technology.
â€¢ It is important that your agent is knowledgeable. Ask questions about things you have learned through your new-found interest in real estate. If they don't know more than you - after all, this is her livelihood! - go on to seasoned agent. Local knowledge is critical.
â€¢ Ask your agent where they live. An agent that lives and works locally will have their finger on the pulse of the market and be able to answer important questions about the community. They should at a minimum know the schools, shopping areas, community parks, etc. where they work.
â€¢ Another good method is to contact the agent with whom a friend or relative previously worked with. If this agent produced positive results for a friend, there's a good chance they will do the same for you.
â€¢ In exchange for your commitment, how will the agent help you accomplish your goals?
â€¢ How will the agent help you accomplish your goals? Ask â€œHow will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently?" Using what media? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but that one reflects your desires.
â€¢ And lastly, once you find the right agent to work with, the most ethical and important thing to keep in mind is: in exchange for their commitment to you, the agent will expect you to cooperate and be loyal to them. Work with only 1 agent at a time and donâ€™t be hesitant to sign an Exclusive Buyers Brokerage Agreement with them. This is a simple guarantee that will show your honesty as well as the mutual relationship that will be formed between you and them during the process.