It’s that time of year when buyers and sellers are interviewing REALTORS®. With literally thousands to choose from, how do you choose the right one? Many criteria are often used. Things like:

  • I see lots of signs
  • They seem like a nice person
  • They were referred by a friend
  • I see their ads
  • They’re the top agent in the community

All those can be a good starting place, but you owe it to yourself dig deeper. For example, it’s important not to confuse good self promoters with great REALTORS®. An agent may have good technical real estate knowledge but have poor communication skills. They may be warm and fuzzy, but lack hard nosed negotiating acumen.

Over the course of my career I’ve had the privilege of representing hundreds of buyers and homeowners; observed the practice of top producers, hard chargers, old timers, and new agents. After a while it becomes easy to identify who’s really good. Here are some of the qualities that I’d look for in a great REALTOR®.

  1. Genuine Goodness – They are by nature honest, straightforward, likable, and ethical. Trust your instincts.
  2. Market Knowledge – They have intimate knowledge the of local real estate market. Plus, they can discuss schools, parks, commute times, restaurants, and community events.
  3. Strong Negotiator – They protect your equity as their own while ultimately being able to put the deal together.
  4. Critical Thinkers – They are able to diagnose, analyze, and propose good solutions.
  5. Positive Attitude – They see and focus on the positives while being able to work through difficult circumstances.
  6. Know Their Role – They understand that their job is to give good advice and counsel and leave the decision making to you.
  7. Soft and Hard – They are pleasant on the outside but firm and principled on the inside.

Not all REALTORS® are the same. Ask good questions, request references, and I’m sure you’ll find the right fit.