How to Pick a Real Estate Agent


Choosing the right real estate agent is one of the most important decisions you’ll

make when buying or selling your home. The wrong agent could cost you tens of

thousands of dollars.

The top agents we spoke with all agreed that experience is the most critical factor,

but there are other things you should keep in mind as well.


Know Your Goals

When choosing a real estate agent, it is important to understand your goals. For

example, if you are buying your first home, it may be beneficial to work with an

agent who has experience helping new buyers. It is also a good idea to consider

whether you want to work with a part time or full time real estate agent.


New agents should also set SMART goals to help them navigate the pitfalls of

starting their real estate career. This will include determining their financial

independence (either by having another source of income or a savings plan),

earning potential and how quickly they will be able to close their first transaction.


They should also define their niche and choose a marketing strategy that fits their

unique skills and knowledge. Finally, they should establish a number of quality leads

that will ensure their success. The most successful agents close about four listings

per quarter. This is a realistic goal that most agents can achieve in their first year of




A real estate agent must have experience with the ins and outs of the local market.

This includes negotiating contracts, vetting offers and pricing properties. Having this

type of experience helps an agent feel comfortable with the problems that often

arise during a transaction, and can help speed up the process.


Additionally, a good real estate agent must have excellent written communication

skills. This includes writing professional emails, contracts and marketing collateral.

They must also be able to listen carefully and respond effectively to clients.


Ask the agent to provide you with a few references from clients that they have

worked with in the past. These can be both buyers and sellers. Ask these clients to

explain the experience they had working with this agent, including any positive and

negative aspects of their interaction. You can use these insights to determine

whether this agent will be a good fit for you. In addition, you can look up real estate

agents on the state regulatory websites to see any complaints or disciplinary actions

against them.



In the real estate industry, it’s critical for agents to be able to quickly respond to

calls, texts and emails. If an agent has a habit of taking days to get back to you, you

may miss out on properties and deals. During the interview process, make sure you

and the agent agree on the preferred mode of communication and that they can

meet your availability needs. You should also avoid an agent who makes every

conversation about them and their paycheck, which is a red flag that they’re not

looking out for your best interests. Read more


Ask potential agents to provide you with references from past clients who have

bought or sold homes in your desired area and price range. Ask these clients about

the agent’s responsiveness, assistance negotiating a good deal and overall support

preparing for closing. Also, find out if the agent works full-time or part-time. A fulltime

agent is more likely to be available when you need them.


Local Knowledge

Local market knowledge is a prerequisite for being successful as a real estate agent.

It involves being familiar with the rules and regulations in each area, and

understanding how different neighborhoods function. It’s also about having the

ability to provide nuanced advice to clients, considering the local culture and

neighborhood characteristics like schools, parks, and public transportation options.


Additionally, local market knowledge includes being aware of economic factors that

influence real estate trends in St. Louis. For example, employment rates and

average income affect demand for homes and their prices. Real estate agents with

strong local connections can offer their clients access to off-market listings and

reputable service providers.


Choosing the right real estate agent can make all the difference in a smooth and

seamless home buying or selling process. With over 1.3 million licensed real estate

agents in the US, it’s essential to interview candidates and evaluate their credentials

before selecting one to represent you.

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