Real estate agents are not hard to find. Chances are you already know one, probably several. If not, you can bet someone you know does. There are plenty of them out there and they’re not shy. Advertisements for real estate agents appear everywhere from billboards to supermarket shopping carts to the backs of church bulletins. Few things are easier than finding a real estate agent.
Finding a top-notch real estate agent? That’s a different matter.
With so many agents in the market, all clamoring for your attention, how do you tell the quality agents from the so-so agents? More to the point, what are the qualities that make for a top-notch real estate agent?
First, he or she must have unassailable professional integrity. This may not excite you, but the last thing any buyer or seller wants is some slick wheeler-dealer that plays fast and loose with the rules, either derailing deals in the process, or, even worse, drawing the unwanted attention of the legal authorities. Don’t take moral rectitude for granted.
The real estate agent industry holds every agent to a firm ethical standard known by the acronym OLDCAR (Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accountability, Reasonable care).
Obedience – Agents must carry out their client’s wishes explicitly, provided they do not violate the law or accepted industry ethical norms.
Loyalty – The client’s best interests come before anyone else’s, including the agents.
Disclosure – Agents must not withhold any knowledge they may have about a property or those involved, even if disclosing said knowledge could adversely affect their client.
Confidentiality – By the same token, discretion about the client’s personal information is paramount. Gossip can kill real estate transactions and real estate agents have no business engaging in it.
Accountability – A quality agent stays on top of all the details of the transaction and addresses them while making sure to keep the client informed and advised at every step of the way. Neither buck-passing nor excuses are acceptable.
Reasonable care – Real estate agents owe their clients a basic level of care. An example would be making sure no harm came to any of the client’s possessions during an open house.
The next criteria for a top-notch agent is effectiveness. An agent can have a sterling record of ethical conduct, but if he or she can’t close deals or otherwise conduct the business of real estate, why would anyone engage their services? One way to measure an agent’s value is a strict, bottom-line rendering of closed transactions. How many deals does the agent successfully transact over the course of a year and for how much? Some may consider such an evaluation crass or even simplistic, but it is the most cut-and-dried approach.
In general, experience goes a long way toward indicating an agent’s proficiency. A vital new agent may have more energy and a higher comfort level with technology. He or she may even have greater overall potential. Still, a time-tested agent stands a much better chance of seeing a transaction to completion. Longevity in the field does not guarantee competence, dynamism, or any other quality you may look for in an agent (nothing does), but it stands to reason that the longer someone has been working in the profession the less likely they are to be inept, lazy, or clueless. Real estate is highly competitive and lesser agents tend to get weeded out early in their careers. Quality agents know their local market inside and out. They keep informed as to the inventory of houses in the area and educate themselves regarding the latest marketing trends. They maintain their relationships with past and current clients while constantly working to increase their customer base. Finally, real estate agents must have strong connections with other real estate agents, as well as other industry professionals, such as mortgage lenders, appraisers, and home stagers.
Now that you know what constitutes a top-notch real estate agent, you still need to know how to find one. Have you ever come to the right place! At matchmewithanagent.com, our sole purpose is connecting buyers and sellers with the best agents in their market centers. We have a network of over 8,000 top agents in every market in all 50 states. Contact us through our website and let us go to work for you!