Finding a real estate agent who is capable of representing your best interests might take meeting a few. Be patient, and look for these traits when interviewing agents:
Experience. Experience is a must. Trusting a major purchase to someone who has experience handling all the different situations that can crop up in a real estate transaction will not only bring peace of mind, but deliver a great experience.
Consistent Sales. The benefit in hiring an agent who is a good, consistent producer is that there is almost no situation that they haven’t successfully handled for their clients dozens of times.
As a point of reference, according to our multi-list board, the average agent sold 10-12 homes in Oakland and Macomb counties last year. In contrast, our team has averaged between 40-50 transactions per agent, per year, for over twenty years.
Negotiation Skills. Negotiation is a learned skill. If I had to rank an agent’s skill set by importance, their ability to negotiate would be number one. Negotiating is martial arts of the mind; it is part skill, part psychology, and a deep concern for their client’s best interest. Negotiation doesn’t come by experience. You’ll want to look for the Certified Negotiation Expert designation for evidence of additional classes they have taken to develop their skill.
Responsiveness. Nobody should work 24 hours a day, but you want an agent who responds consistently and within a few hours. When first interviewing for an agent to represent you, ask their hours of availability and their days off. Make sure they are available when you plan to look at homes.
Opinionated. A good agent will tell you the whole situation, good news, and not-so-good news. They will spend more time asking questions about you, your lifestyle and your real estate needs than they spend talking about themselves.
They will offer sound advice and even disagree with you at times. The agent you want to hire is one that volunteers their expertise and opinion, but without any expectation that you take their advice. You are the decision-maker in the collaboration.