What to Look For in a Great Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent showing young family a home

At BeLocal, we are all about helping new movers settle into a community they love. But what if you haven’t quite settled in? What if you’re just now considering a move, and are looking for a real estate agent to help you find the home of your dreams to make this a reality? We are still here to assist!

Our team has access to exclusive stories about the nation’s highest-performing real estate agents shared in our sister publication, Real Producers. These magazines spotlight the best of the best in real estate in nearly 100 markets across the country. By reading about these titans in real estate, we’ve learned what sets them apart. And now it’s time to impart some of that knowledge on you, our readers, to give you an idea of what to look for in an agent you can trust.

4 Things to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

  1. They educate you on the entire process.

This is a particularly important characteristic of an agent for first-time homebuyers. The homebuying process is complicated, and you need to know what’s happening. When selecting an agent you can trust, be sure they are willing and able to describe the homebuying process in layman's terms you understand – and possess the patience to re-explain aspects of the process as many times as it takes for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable.

We love this quote from Antonio Cardenas of Coldwell Banker, a REALTOR® featured in Sacramento Real Producers and a Marine veteran with a passion for assisting veterans and first-time home buyers.

“I simply put my clients first. I take a huge pride in being someone’s REALTOR®, and I want to provide them with the best experience possible. I work with a lot of first-time home buyers and I know that they have several questions, especially once we’re in contract. My clients know they can call, text, or email me, and I answer them right away or get back to them quickly. I believe knowledge is power, and I try and educate my clients about the entire home buying/selling process upfront and then proceed to break down the process week-by-week while we are under contract.”

  1. They are honest about what they do and do not know.

Real estate agents can certainly seem like superheroes for those of us who have had smooth, profitable homebuying or selling experiences. But agents are still human, and therefore they can’t know it all. If you partner with a top-performing agent, or any agent for that matter, make sure they are still humble enough to admit when they don’t have the answer for you.

A perfect example: Dawn Proctor, an up-and-coming real estate agent for Century 21 Parker & Scroggins featured in Central Arkansas Real Producers.

“The client can make your business. They are the backbone. If you do a great job they will refer you to their friends and their family.  Keep current and always learn when the client asks a question, be knowledgeable but at the same time don't be afraid to say I'm not sure but will find that answer for you.”

  1. They stop you from making emotional purchases.

For many people, home buying is more than a transaction. It’s life-changing. So it’s no surprise buyers can be overcome with expectations, emotions, etc., during this intense process. At the end of the day, it’s a hugely important decision, so any great agent will ensure it’s one you don’t make lightly – or jump into without sound reasoning.

Denver Real Producers’ Featured Agent Jason Dalbey knows this to be a major responsibility of agents. His real estate team, The Dalbey Group, consists of five additional agents, a transaction coordinator, and marketing director — all of whom, like Jason, are passionate about the power of real estate and work as advisors to their clients, helping them make wise housing decisions and investments. Not just emotional quick sales.

“As REALTORS®, it’s imperative to look after our clients... In the end, it’s their decision, but they often look to you as an expert for all things real estate.”

  1. They are your agent, but also a go-to community resource for the long term.

New home buyers who are also brand new to an area can use all the help they can get when settling in. Of course, for hundreds of thousands of people across the nation, BeLocal serves as a go-to resource. But a truly great real estate agent will know the ins and outs of their community – and will always jump at the chance to help a current or past buyer with any questions they may have about the area.

Case in point: Brett Stern, a Featured Agent in Cincinnati Real Producers. For Brett, real estate is about building and maintaining relationships, long after the closing table.

“If you’re my client, I want to know you and continue to know you. Our relationship will not end at the closing table. I’m passionate about the human part of this business. I want my clients to feel as at home here as I do, and I want them to know about all that our city has to offer.”