5 Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent

Posted by Lee and Katherine Keadle on Friday, December 18th, 2015 at 10:56am.

how to find the right real estate agent

The right Charleston real estate agent will make the process of buying or selling a home as simple and stress-free as possible. But finding an agent that fits the bill can be a challenge. It’s not quite as simple as hiring the first agent you meet. Here are some tips to help you find the right real estate agent for you.

  1. Choose an Agent with the Right Credentials

Most real estate agents specialize in a particular area, which can be advantageous for you as a buyer or seller. Look for an agent that has the right credentials for your particular situation. Some of the most common designations real estate agents have include:

  • SRES – Also known as Seniors Real Estate Specialist. These agents have completed specialized training geared towards helping sellers and buyers who are 50 years of age or older.

  • CRS – Also known as Certified Residential Specialist. These agents have undergone additional training in residential real estate.

  • ABR – Also known as Accredited Buyer’s Representative. These agents have additional training in representing buyers in real estate transactions.

If you’re selling a home, ask the agent if any past properties here she has sold are similar to yours in location, price and features. It’s best to work with someone who specializes in the type of real estate you’re selling.

  1. Talk to Former Clients

Talking to an agent’s former clients is one of the best ways to gauge the quality of service the agent provides. Ask for a list of homes that the agent has sold within the last 12 months as well as reviews from former clients on third party websites such as Facebook or Google.

When speaking with clients who purchased homes, find out what the asking price of the home was, and what the final sales price was. Create a list of questions beforehand, so you can get a complete picture of the agent’s service quality.

  1. Check the Agent’s Listings

Browse through the agent’s listings online. Check both the real estate agency’s website and Realtor.com (or a similar property aggregator site).

Remember, most buyers start searching for homes online, so you want to choose an agent that can use this tool effectively. One of the key factors to lure in buyers is to create an attractive online listing for your home.

If you’re a buyer, you can check to see if any of the agent’s listings are similar to the type of property you want to buy.

Also, an agent with a fair amount of listings will indicate that he or she has a healthy business. On the other hand, you may want to avoid agents with an overwhelming number of listings as he or she may not be able to provide you with the individual attention you deserve.

  1. Look for an Agent with Experience and Accomplishments

Experience and accomplishments are also important. Find out how long the agent has been in business and whether he or she has earned any awards. You can find out how long the agent has been selling real estate by checking with the state licensing authority, or asking the agent directly.

Also, agents who have won the “Realtor of the Year” may provide you with superior service. This award is given by local or state branches of the NAR, and all candidates are judged by their peers.

  1. Think Local

One important thing that buyers and sellers tend to overlook is the location of the agent. Ideally, you want to work with an agent who is local and familiar with the area. These agents will know and understand the local market, which means he or she will be able to help you buy or sell a home quickly and efficiently.

Find Your Charleston Real Estate Agent with The Keadle Group

If you are ready to find your perfect home, search our Charleston Real Estate MLS, and let our agents work with you to find the perfect match for your budget and needs. We specialize in many different neighborhoods of Charleston, including Mount Pleasant, Johns Island and James Island Real Estate

18 Responses to "5 Tips for Finding the Right Real Estate Agent"

Kate Hansen wrote: I'd like a real estate agent to help me through the process of selling my home and purchasing a new one. I like how you suggest to check the agent's listings so you can confirm that they know how to successfully use their website to advertise homes. Having my home listed online would increase the chances that someone comes and looks at it, so I want a real estate agent who knows how to use this tool.

Posted on Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 11:08am.

Dennis Sanchez wrote: Thanks for the terrific read. A good friend of mine has been trying to find a real estate agent but didn't know what made a good and what makes a great agent. You wrote that you should find out how long the agent has been in business and whether he or she has earned any awards. Awards could mean that the agent is not only good, but the best at what they do. My friend totally deserves to work with best, so I'll recommend he ask about that.

Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 at 6:06pm.

Jade Brunet wrote: It is good to know that talking to former clients can be a good step in finding the right realtor. This interaction would provide you with the needed information to find the quality of work performed. It would also be a great idea to find an agent who has stellar negotiating skills to help the house selling experience pass more smoothly.

Posted on Monday, January 16th, 2017 at 6:19pm.

Olivia Nelson wrote: I agree that you need to check with the experience of a real estate agent before you hire them. I would imagine that you would want to find someone who has been in business locally for a long time because they would know the market better. My husband and I are looking for someone to help us buy a new home so we'll have to be sure they are experienced.

Posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 at 5:25pm.

Troy Blackburn wrote: That's a great tip you mentioned about finding out how long the real estate agent has been in business and whether he or she has earned any awards. I've heard that many real estate agents spend thousands of dollars each year just to remain up to speed on the latest technology and ways to assist their clients. I'll have to keep these great tips in mind as my wife and I try to choose a great agent to help us sell our home fast.

Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2017 at 1:41pm.

Leviticus Bennett wrote: I like your point to talk to former clients and research an agent's past sales. If you end up contacting a former client, I think the best thing to ask is "would you hire this agent again?" If the agent is good enough to earn loyal clients, they'll surely say yes.

Posted on Thursday, April 6th, 2017 at 11:49am.

Jade Pearson wrote: Speaking with former clients would be a great thing to do when trying to find a real estate agent. I like what was said about asking for a list of homes that the agent has sold within the past 12 months. Finding a realtor with excellent communication skills would also be ideal and would make the process more enjoyable.

Posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017 at 12:33pm.

Annika Larson wrote: My husband and I are hoping to buy a home. We want to make sure we have the right real estate agent by our side to help with the whole process. Thanks for the suggestion to look at an agent's listings to make sure they are similar to the property you want to buy. We'll be sure to do that.

Posted on Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 5:25pm.

Matt Walsh wrote: My parents are looking for homes for sale to downsize a little bit so that they have less house to take care of. I think that helping them find a real estate agent to get them seeing homes for sale would be helpful. I'll have to take your suggestion to find an agent who has experience and and a list of accomplishments, because they are more likely to help my parents find the home they're looking for. Thanks for the help!

Posted on Friday, May 26th, 2017 at 12:24pm.

Braden Bills wrote: My wife and I have been having a hard time finding a new home for our family. It makes sense that getting a real estate agent would help us out a lot! I'll make sure that we find one that has plenty of experience. That way we can be certain that they know what they are talking about!

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 10:04am.

gloria durst wrote: I agree that finding a local real estate agent would be important because it would show they know the area. Having someone who knows the market would be helpful because it would allow them to know how to market your home. My sister is looking for someone to help sell her home after a divorce, so she'll have to find a local realtor to help out.

Posted on Friday, June 23rd, 2017 at 4:14pm.

Sandra Hexner wrote: Talking to former clients that purchased homes with that agent is great advice. We are hoping to have an agent that includes open houses. Please look for my email so that we can meet to talk about listing my home!

Posted on Thursday, June 29th, 2017 at 3:35pm.

Abby Pendergast wrote: I agree that you need to consider how long a realtor has been in business. For our last home we chose an agent who had only been in the business for about 6 months and really regretted it!

Posted on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 at 9:20pm.

Derek Dewitt wrote: My wife and I are thinking about hiring a real estate agent to help sell our house but aren't sure what to look for. We definitely need to look for an agent has sold in our specific neighborhood in the past 12 months, but we don't want to work with an agent who is too overwhelmed with listings to be able to spend personal time on our home.

Posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at 8:38am.

Lauren Jones wrote: My daughter and her husband are looking to buy their first home, now that they have graduated from college. I will pass on this information to my daughter, thanks.

Posted on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at 2:12pm.

Mary Jalette wrote: My wife and I have been looking into our local real estate market for a new home, and I think that being able to have the help of an agent would be great for us. I'm glad that you talked about being able to find a real estate agent who has experience and accomplishments to help you. I want to make sure that if we're going to have a real estate agent help us find a home, it'll be worth the time for both parties, so we'll have to make sure we get a good one! Thank you!

Posted on Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 at 3:45pm.

Margaret Chesser wrote: Your team comes highly recommended. My husband will be contacting you within the next few days to list our home. We hope that you can help make a quick sale!

Posted on Thursday, August 10th, 2017 at 5:47pm.

Becca Holton wrote: Looking forward to working with your team!

Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 4:40pm.

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