Finding the right Realtor®

The single most important thing anyone planning to buy or sell a home this year can do is find the right Realtor®.  Inventory continues to be tight.   New rules and regulations in addition to increasing mortgage rates, means the right Realtor-Client partnership will be more important than ever in 2018.  

It's not uncommon for buyers or sellers to interview several  prospectsand vetting
them before sealing a partnership

Finding the right real estate professional is critical.  A typical mortgage will involve well over six-figures and can be binding for decades.  In many ways, it involves life - altering decisions. Anyone faced with a decision of such magnitude on health or legal issues wouldn’t think of going at it without a professional on their side. They would want the best professional help they can get.  Real estate is no different.

As the market has tightened, the Realtor®- client relationship has evolved into something closer to a partnership, so vetting an agent is not uncommon. This makes sense because it’s more personal than many other business relationships. And, in many ways, it’s more complicated.  Today’s housing market moves at a faster pace with increasingly complicated transactions.  That’s why it’s important to shop and find an agent who’s a good match for your needs.  Some people make a list of questions then interview several agents to compare how the field responds to the same questions. Simply put, making the wrong partnering choice is a big mistake.

The time-tested process of getting recommendations from friends or relatives is a good starting point. But keep in mind the agent who worked with your parents when they scaled down for retirement may not be the best choice for a first-time buyer or trading up for an expanding family. 

There are more than 20 professional designations and certifications recognized by the National Association of Realtors®.  Many agents have several of them. Look at it this way. That alphabet soup of initials behind a Realtor’s® name on their business card is a map of their real estate specialties.   You can get a list and explanation of what each means at  

Communications is also a consideration. Do they favor email while you’d prefer a text?  Do you want to sit back and have your Realtor® guide you through the process? Or, are you going be a more hands-on client? These are the type of considerations that should be part of the conversation.


The best Realtor®- client partnerships happen when the personal chemistry
is compatibleCaption

significant part of the relationship will also be how candid you are with your Realtor®.  This is especially true for buyers.  It’s a good idea to strengthen the relationship with an understanding you won’t be shopping with other agents. When you think about it, that’s fair. An agent invests a significant amount of effort without a guaranteed fee since they are paid by the seller when the deal is made.  Buyers who commit to an exclusive agreement are taking the high road.  But if things are not going as well as they should, don’t hesitate to sit down with your Realtor® for a heart-to-heart. More often than not, misunderstandings or differences are overcome by good communication.

 It’s different for sellers.  They have a listing agreement, so their relationship is contractually connected. In many ways this make the process of finding an agent who matches your expectations and style even more important.  Sellers shouldn’t be timid about interviewing agents and checking their references. They should also be candid about their expectations and, at the same time, be committed to taking the advice of their partner.

 The best Realtor®- client partnerships happen when the personal chemistry is compatible. Both buyers and sellers should step back and test it before making a final decision. Is the prospective agent someone they want to spend time with? Are you comfortable with sharing personal and financial information with them? If there are doubts, keep looking.

 In many cases, a client and their Realtor® will spend a lot of time together before the real estate transaction is completed. There will be some glitches. Things can and will go wrong.  Expect some extra stress. But choosing the right agent will take the edge off of the process and make it easier and more successful for everyone concerned.