Buyers & sellers have specific requirements when picking a realtor as do lenders.
As a lender we choose who we work with as well. Most lenders go after their own buyers in addition to building referral relationships and when we have a Pre-Approved buyer that needs an agent we have to have someone we can refer them to that we can trust.
So what do we look for? It goes without saying that a good agent should have an intimate knowledge of the market(s) the buyer is interested in, strong negotiating skills, tech-savvy, good sense of humor and can make the client comfortable with the process to name a few things.
There are a lot of agents out there with with those attributes but the problem is usually lies with the most mundane of tasks.
There are plenty of agents that have a great mind for real estate but can be terrible at returning calls/emails, following up with a prospect/buyer and just communicating in general. I know that from experience and just asking around. Same goes with lenders. There are plenty of talented lenders out there but are terrible at the basics like communicating good or bad news quickly, pre-approvals, following up, etc.
I am new to the Northern Virginia market and the agents I have referred clients to have all had issues with what I listed above so it can be frustrating. It's a little daunting starting all over again and looking for new agents to work with but what the heck. I like a challenge.