If you are looking to purchase a home or sell a real estate property, having a skilled and experienced agent is essential. It can sometimes be hard to find; relying solely on online reviews and testimonials will only tell you half the story. Consider the following tips to unveil an accurate representation of potential real estate agents.

Ask friends/family for referrals

Referrals are an excellent way to reveal the quality of services offered by a real estate agent. Ask your friends and family for referrals and ask why they recommend that particular agent. This will provide you with detailed information, which can be used to determine whether a specific real estate agent is suited to help reach your real estate goals.

Read online reviews/testimonials

The internet is a great place to evaluate the quality of potential real estate agents. Google is one of the best places to find information about an agent. Many real estate agents also share client testimonials on their website, whereas others share them on social media platforms. These testimonials, however, are unlikely to disclose any negative feedback.  To ensure you have an accurate representation of a real estate agent, conduct an online search for user-submitted reviews and testimonials. You must collect the pros and cons of the services offered based on unedited experiences.

Look for a real estate agent with thorough knowledge of the neighborhood

Neighborhood knowledge is a valuable asset. The more a real estate agent knows about an area, the better. Your real estate agent should be highly knowledgeable about the area you’re selling or buying in to ensure your goals are met efficiently and effectively.

Interview multiple agents

Once you have a collection of potential real estate agents, conduct interviews to narrow in on the specifics of each.  There are various techniques real estate agents use to help clients buy or sell a home, as well as different levels and areas of expertise. These can include the number of years in the industry and communication styles. It’s crucial to find a real estate agent who aligns with your personal goals and preferences to ensure a successful experience.

Realistic recommendations and pricing for sellers

No real estate agent should suggest that you list your house at the highest price without first considering key factors. When selling your home, get listing presentations from at least three separate agents. They will be able to tell you how much similar homes have sold for within the area, how long they took to sell, and other valuable information and recommendations that are well calculated. Listing a price too high will result in it taking much longer to sell, or worse, buyers may not even look at it. The longer a house sits on the market, the more people will start to think something is wrong with it.  Always select a real estate agent who provides realistic recommendations and listing prices.

Look for a REALTOR®

When beginning your search, know the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®. A real estate agent is someone who has taken classes and/or passed the licensing test for their state.  REALTORS® are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The requirements to join this prestigious professional organization involve more than just being licensed and active in the industry. REALTORS® follow a strict code of ethics. Once you have identified a real estate agent you like, check to make sure they are a REALTOR®, simply search their name on and area served on realtor.com.