Stop Asking ‘Which Real Estate Agent Should I Use?’, Get the Answers Here

(**) Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning our company, JCHQ Publishing will get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, but at no additional cost to you.

Purchasing or selling a home is a major milestone, and working with the right real estate agent is often the key to success. 

From understanding market trends to navigating negotiations, finding the right partner can make all the difference when it comes to getting the most out of a real estate transaction. 

Here is everything you need to know about how to pick a winning real estate agent for your next big move.

Basic Qualities to Look for in a Real Estate Agent

When deciding who you should hire as your real estate agent, there are a few essential qualities that you should keep in mind. 

The first is knowledge of the local market; an experienced agent can offer valuable insights into recent sales, changes in market trends, and more. 

Additionally, look for agents who have established relationships with other industry professionals such as lawyers, home inspectors, appraisers, and lenders—all of which are essential for closing any deal on time and smoothly. 

Last but not least, it’s important that your agent has good communication skills; they should maintain contact with you regarding all updates in the process.

From my personal experience as a real estate investor, I learned there are plenty of helpful online resources available when it comes time to pick an ideal real estate agent. 

You can begin by searching websites such as HomeLight. HomeLight takes into account your objective criteria (such as location), past performance data (such as reviews and ratings from previous customers), and current market trends (which are provided by third-party sources) before recommending agents who match your needs best. 

Other sites like Realtor also allow users to search by state or ZIP code while filtering results according to their desired criteria, such as a seller or buyer representation services or special designations like Certified Residential Specialist (CRS).

Understanding Your Local Real Estate Market

In order to make an informed decision while selecting an agent, you must have a good idea of what’s going on in your local market; data collected by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) can give you insights into current inventory levels and price ranges for similar properties within your geographic area — invaluable information when preparing for negotiations with potential buyers or sellers.

The NAR website also provides access to additional resources like median sale prices broken down by county or metro area, along with quarterly reports on housing affordability indices, which can give you further insight into pricing conditions and consumer sentiment where you live.

Once you’ve done some research into what’s going on in the local market near you, start exploring personal recommendations from family and friends or even online groups such as Facebook groups or discussion boards geared toward real estate matters.

Personal referrals from people within your network may give even better insight since oftentimes these individuals have direct experience working alongside specific agents themselves— ask close acquaintances about their experiences if at all possible! 

Referrals remain the primary method most buyers found their real estate agent. Referrals by friends, neighbors, or relatives were higher among Younger Millennial buyers (55 percent) and Older Millennial Buyers (48 percent) compared to older generations. Older buyers were more likely to work with an agent they had previously used to buy or sell a home

Quote from NAR 2022 Home Buyers and
Sellers Generational
Trends Report

Researching Reviews And Testimonials On Agents

Most buyers or sellers would look at online reviews and ratings when choosing their real estate agents.

However, when researching reviews and testaments written by previous clients, look beyond star ratings alone — take note of any common themes among different comments, such as timeliness, responsiveness during showings, attention to detail concerning paperwork filing processes, etc.

When looking at reviews, I do not just look at those on the agent’s websites. Instead, I would look for third-party rating sites such as Google Review, Facebook, Yelp, or BBB. 

Sometimes, there are detailed stories about various interactions people had with their agents so that you can get an even better picture overall before making a final decision.

Identifying The Right Questions To Ask Potential Agents

Once you’ve narrowed down potential choices based on reviews alone, then its time to reach out directly via phone call or email so that both parties can discuss expectations openly beforehand; don’t be afraid to ask questions either – questions like ‘what sets them apart from others?’, ‘how do they plan to handle negotiations?’, ‘what strategies they use marketing properties?’ etc., can help determine whether not their style fits well yours.

I always work with a real estate agent who specializes in a specific area rather than ones that go everywhere. In my experience, they provided me with invaluable insights into pricing, trends, and potential development opportunities – plus, when it comes to selling, they can help make sure I got the best price possible.

Furthermore, you may consider working with a REALTOR from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Being a member of NAR adheres to a high standard, thanks to the strict Code of Ethics that governs their practice. 

This code covers important matters like honesty, integrity, and respect for all parties involved in the transaction — making sure that everyone’s interests are respected throughout the process. 

Deciphering Between the Typical Real Estate Agent Fees

It’s expected that you will need to pay the real estate agent for their services, and there are two major ways this fee is structured depending on who they are representing—buyers or sellers. 

This varies across different states, but most commonly, agents representing sellers charge 4 to 5% of the purchase price, which is split between them and the buyer’s agents.

When hiring an agent, make sure to find out exactly how their fees are structured so that you can understand what portion of the sales price will go toward paying them.

Discussing Expectations With The Agent Before Signing a Contract

Once you’ve found an ideal candidate who meets all of your criteria, it’s important to discuss expectations openly before signing a contract. What type of representation do you expect from your agent? How often do you require them to communicate updates in the process? 

Have them explain their approach to navigating negotiations if necessary to ensure they have the same goals in mind. 

In addition, this would also be a great time to discuss contract details, such as the length of the representation period, fees, and the type of services to be provided. 

The Benefits Of Working With A Reputable Agency

Reputable firms are typically well-established with a proven track record of providing top-notch service and successful transactions. Working with such firms gives you access to experienced agents who have extensive industry knowledge and expertise in representing buyers and sellers in all types of deals.

By utilizing agents from reputable firms, you can feel confident that your interests will be well protected throughout the entire home-buying process. Many of these organizations hold their members to strict codes of ethics and best practices, which are designed to ensure client satisfaction at all times. 

Additionally, some firms may even provide additional services or assistance through their company resources, such as personalized searches or buyer’s agency agreements for specific properties.

Another advantage to working with an organization known for its high standards is that its agents are often better trained than those affiliated with lesser-known companies or independent brokers. 

This means that their knowledge base on market trends and legalities related to real estate is likely more up-to-date, giving them the ability to provide sound advice regarding any potential home purchase decisions you might make.

For these reasons, it’s wise to seek out a real estate agent who works with a reliable and experienced firm. Doing so not only gives you an assurance that your interests will be protected but also provides you access to knowledgeable professionals who can help ensure a successful transaction every time.

(**) Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. Our company, JCHQ Publishing will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking on the link. Please understand that we include them based on our experience or the research on these companies or products, and we recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something through the links. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.


  • 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report National Association of REALTORS® Research Group (source)


  • Jacob Coleman

    Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

Jacob Coleman

Jacob is a content writer and a real estate investor. He has experience working with different real estate professionals throughout the years. (i.e., appraisers, real estate agents, property managers, home inspectors.) In order to build a career you love, Jacob believes not only you need a thorough understanding about the profession, but you also have to find out what type of jobs could match your personality, lifestyle and expectation.

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