Here are some tips to help you choose and work with your real estate agent.
How to choose a real estate agent
1. Consumers who do their homework can save thousands of dollars and
experience a smooth transition. So don't waste time and resources – decide
what's most important to you, and then find a professional who specializes in
that area. A RE/MAX agent can help you no matter what your needs are.
2. Ask friends and family members for referrals. Someone you know and trust
may have a RE/MAX agent in mind to help you meet your real estate goals.
3. If you've already determined where you'd like to live, drive through neighborhoods in the area and survey them for REALTOR® yard signs. Seeing the same name pop up on signs time after time may indicate that the agent is a specialist in the area. If you're thinking about selling, monitor the signs in your own neighborhood.
4. Moving far away? Right here on remax.com, you can connect with a RE/MAX
agent around the world who can offer great expertise and service. Consider
services they offer, additional certifications, any specialties, and languages
they speak. You'll find the right professional to meet your real estate needs
no matter where your home search takes you.
5. Pay attention to credentials. This will help you determine areas of
expertise. You may be interested in these designations: ABR (Accredited Buyer
Representative), CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert), LHMS (Certified
Luxury Home Marketing Specialist), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and
SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist). There are dozens of designations pursued
for continuing education, so identify one or more that fit your needs.
What to ask in the interview
1. If selling, ask the real estate agent how he or she would establish a
listing price. Request a Comparative Market Analysis, also called a CMA, which
shows the market value of similar homes in the area that are for sale or have
2. Ask the agent how he or she would market your property. Understand that
some agents may prefer to first tour your home and then put together a
customized marketing plan to present at a later meeting. But if he or she can't
suggest a strategy when asked, you might consider interviewing other
3. Ask the agent how often you should expect to hear from him or her. Know
how and when you will communicate to avoid unrealistic expectations.
4. Ask how long the agent has been licensed and how many buyers and sellers
he or she has helped.
5. Ask about designations. Interest in continuing education is a strong
indicator of motivation and professionalism.
6. Pay attention to the agent's listening skills. Does he or she cut you off
before you've finished a sentence? There's nothing worse than looking at houses
you have no interest in because the real estate agent has not listened
carefully to your needs, or having your home on the market too long because
it's priced incorrectly and the wrong buyers are being targeted.
7. Ask the agent what his or her fee structure is. Does he or she require a
percentage of the sales price or work for a flat fee? Will the agent be paid
8. If you are unsatisfied with a prospect's plans or personality, thank him
or her for taking the time to meet with you and repeat the process with another
real estate agent. It can be time-consuming, but it's worthwhile.
Once you've found the right real estate agent to represent you, hold up your
end of the relationship. There are simple things you can do to help your real
estate agent get you the best deal.
How to work with your real estate agent
1. If you are selling, create an information sheet that lists your home's
features and best qualities, especially those that others might overlook. Your
agent may be able to use the information when marketing your home.
2. When selling, talk to the real estate agent about cosmetic improvements.
Your home may need fresh paint or new carpet.
3. If selling, keep it clean. Eliminate cobwebs and dust. Keep the bathroom
counters and mirrors wiped down. Vacuum and sweep daily.
4. If buying, be clear about what you want. Make a list of your priorities
numbered 1 through 10. You can always revise the list, but give your agent
something concrete so that he or she can research available listings more