How do you find a good real estate agent? You would not think this is such a difficult question, yet many buyers and sellers continue to tell me they hired the wrong agent. Without asking, I’ve been hearing stories for years.  Since this is obviously such an important issue for so many buyers and sellers, I want to share one key task that all of the buyers and sellers with bad experiences tell me they did not do before they hired their agent.  What do you think that one thing is?  Like these for-sale-by-owner signs which make it obvious why they are selling, the key to finding a good real estate agent is also obvious . . . if you know where to look.

Find a Good Real Estate Agent

Finding a Good Real Estate Agent

One very important key is simply looking at real estate agents’ online profiles.  What do they say about themselves on their own resumes or their own online profiles?  Here are real quotes taken from agents’ own resumes from around the United States.  Tell the truth, would you define these agents as good real estate agents based on these profiles?  If you had read these profiles first, would you hire these agents to handle the most important asset of your life–your home? [All typos were in the original quotes, and these agents had no additional real estate experience of any kind listed.]

  • I was with In-n-Out Burger for about thirteen years. I was a regular associate, then went into management, then worked as a Divisional Trainer for them, and then back into management.
  • I have spent the majority of the last 18 years volunteering as a pianist at church and other family or friend functions related to it. [Many experiences like this are honorable, but have no bearing on real estate knowledge or experience.]
  • I get the pleasure of grabbing my fishing pole, walking a few steps to my dock and catch (and release) 5 lb trout, that is living.
  • My whole career has been in retail or waiting tables so going into real estate was a natural transition for me.
  • Being in the marching band really taught me the importance of being a member of a team.
  • I spent 17 years in the sand and gravel business before deciding to move on to real estate.  

Know What a Good Real Estate Does and Doesn’t Look Like

The issue here is not good character, because all of these candidates undoubtedly have good character.  You most likely define a good real estate agent as someone with good character plus real estate knowledge plus real estate experience. I’ve written several articles about how to find a good real estate agent, what to look for and how to do your online research. [See What Defines a Good Real Estate Agent?]

Whether you are buying or selling, there’s a lot of money at stake–yours.  You have high standards for choosing a dentist, a doctor, a financial adviser, or an accountant.  Why not set high standards to find a good real estate agent?  It only takes a few minutes to do your research online, and that few minutes of research could make all the difference in your life.

Is a Good Real Estate Agent by Referral?

It used to be that referrals were the most reliable way to find a good real estate agent, and that can still be a great way to get a good agent, but it can also be a curse.  Read Real Estate Referrals – Blessing or Curse? Even if you get a referral, I would strongly recommend you still do your due diligence.  I wrote an article about how to do your due diligence online, and you may find those tips useful.  That article is How to Research Your Real Estate Agent.  I promise if you follow these tips, you will find a good real estate agent.

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