What Makes A Good REALTOR®? 11 Key Qualities To Look For In Your Real Estate Agent
If you’re looking to buy in the next year, you’re probably thinking about potential neighborhoods and features you want in a home. But before you start the homebuying process, you need to choose a real estate agent.
The terms real estate agent and REALTOR® are sometimes used synonymously, but they aren’t the same thing. A real estate agent is an individual who’s licensed to help you buy or sell a property.
In comparison, a REALTOR® is a real estate agent who’s also an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The NAR is the largest trade organization in the United States, and anyone who joins the NAR agrees to its strict code of ethics.
There are tons of real estate agents out there, so how do you find the person that’s right for you? This article will explain what makes a good REALTOR® and the key traits you should look for.
Top 11 Attributes That Make A Great Real Estate Agent
With so many real estate agents to choose from, it can be hard to know who you should work with. What makes a good real estate agent, and how do you know when you’ve found the right person?
When evaluating potential real estate agents, you should consider that person’s skills, expertise, and character. Here are the top 11 qualities of a good real estate agent.
1. Listens To You And Prioritizes Your Specific Needs
When you’re buying or selling a home, there is no one-size-fits-all solution – you need advice specific to your situation. The right agent will be attentive to your needs and try to come up with the best solutions for you.
For instance, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may need more hand-holding than someone who has bought and sold multiple homes. And your agent should spend time helping you find the right home and never rush you through this process.
2. Understands Your Local Real Estate Market
It’s essential to have a REALTOR® who’s familiar with the local market where you’re buying or selling. Understanding the nuances of the local real estate market will help them develop a pricing strategy and allow them to move quickly.
For instance, if you’re looking to buy in a competitive market, your real estate agent needs to know this. That way, when you find a home you want to buy, they’ll be able to help you lock in the house as quickly as possible.
And at some point, you may need help beyond what your real estate agent can offer. So your REALTOR® should be connected to other real estate professionals, like a real estate attorney, home inspection expert, etc.
3. Communicates With You Regularly
Buying a home can be emotional, and you want a real estate agent who can support you through this process. The right REALTOR® has good communication skills and sets clear expectations as to how the process will work.
For instance, your REALTOR® should be willing to answer any questions you have and take your calls when you need help. And if you’re selling your home, they should give you feedback on how you can improve your home and get the most money from the sale.
You also want a real estate agent who’s comfortable communicating with the buyer or seller’s listing agent. They should communicate what was said during negotiations and advocate on your behalf.
4. Demonstrates Honesty, Transparency And Integrity
You need to be able to trust your REALTOR®. 86% of sellers say trust is the top quality they consider when selecting an agent. You need to trust that your real estate agent has your best interests in mind and that they act with integrity.
For instance, if you’re bidding on a home and it doesn’t look like the negotiations will be successful, your REALTOR® should tell you this. If your real estate agent is dishonest about what’s going on or exaggerates, this can prevent you from making effective decisions.
5. Knows How To Negotiate
It’s a seller’s market, and houses are getting snatched up quickly once they’re listed. In 2020, houses stayed on the market for an average of 25 days once they were listed. In comparison, most homes remained on the market for an average of 140 days in 2010.
So if you’re looking to buy a home in 2022, you need a REALTOR® who can negotiate on your behalf. You need someone who understands when to make concessions and when to push to get you the best deal.
If you’re looking for a real estate agent to help you sell your home, you want to consider their list-to-sell ratio. If this ratio is over 100%, that means the house sold for more than it was listed for. For instance, if a home is listed at $220,000 and sells for $250,000, the list-to-sell ratio is 113%.
6. Solves Problems Expeditiously
When you’re buying or selling a home, it’s only a matter of when, not if, a problem arises. Perhaps a home inspection reveals a problem with the house you’re buying, and you need to renegotiate the price with the seller.
Or maybe you’re selling your home and offers aren’t coming in as quickly as you thought they would. Whatever the problem, you need a REALTOR® who can respond quickly and come up with possible solutions.
7. Possesses In-Depth Real Estate Market Knowledge
In addition to understanding the market where you’re buying or selling, you want a real estate agent who has in-depth knowledge of the real estate market overall. This person should continue their personal and professional development and always be up-to-date on the latest topics in real estate.
Plus, your agent should be familiar with the housing market trends in 2022. This kind of knowledge will allow your real estate agent to service you and other clients more effectively.
8. Markets Your Home Efficiently
Your home is not just going to sell itself. Your real estate agent needs to actively work on marketing your home. Marketing your home will get it in front of more potential buyers and help you make the most of the sale.
And even if it is a seller’s market, certain home sales will be more challenging than others. For instance, if you’re selling a luxury home, you’ll have access to a more limited pool of buyers. In this situation, it’s even more important to get your home in front of buyers who could purchase it.
A few different skills will help real estate agents be more successful in marketing your home. For instance, understanding technology is a crucial component of any effective marketing strategy.
And utilizing the digital marketing capabilities of social media is not only useful, but it’s also a necessary requirement in today’s real estate industry. A REALTOR® who understands how to use social media will be able to get your home in front of more potential buyers.
9. Utilizes Technology Effectively
In the age of COVID, it’s important to have a REALTOR® who knows how to utilize technology. There’s still a need for open houses and making your home available for showings. But increasingly, homebuyers are doing most of their research online.
So if a potential buyer looks up your home on Zillow, and you only have two photos and barely any information available, it’s not going to look good. Odds are, most of the people who view your home won’t take the time to come see it in person.
Real estate agents who understand technology can utilize tools like 3D tours or virtual open houses. These kinds of extras are appealing to homebuyers who want to get a sense of what your home looks like before coming to see it in person.
10. Pays Attention To Details
In real estate, it’s often the details that matter when you’re selling your home. You want to know that your REALTOR® is on top of all the little tasks that come with selling a home. For instance, you want someone who’s organized, follows up with leads and is well respected by their peers.
11. Empathizes With You
And finally, you want a real estate agent who empathizes with you and understands the challenges that come with buying or selling a home. This person understands that things can change quickly in real estate and that some deals may not work out.
Great real estate agents can “read the room” and can match the client’s enthusiasm and be sensitive to whatever they’re feeling.
The Bottom Line: What Makes The Best REALTOR® For You?
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need a qualified real estate agent who can walk you through this process. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the important attributes of a real estate agent.
Ultimately, the best REALTOR® for you is an honest and transparent agent, communicates well with you and makes you feel seen and taken care of. Learn more about how to find a real estate agent you can trust and what to expect when working with an agent in our Home Buyer’s Guide today.