6 Tips For Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent who understands your needs can help you make a confident decision when buying or selling a home.

By Navy Federal March 21, 2019
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You’ve done your home-buying research and decided now’s the right time to look for a new home—great! Having a real estate agent on your side as you view homes and compare properties can make a big difference while you’re making a major decision, especially if you’re buying for the first time, relocating to a new city or selling a home. Here are tips to find a real estate agent who’s right for you.

  1. Seek referrals from other homeowners. One of the best compliments a real estate agent can receive is positive word-of-mouth from satisfied clients. If others were pleased with their experience, chances are you will be, too.
  2. Understand an agent’s credentials. A real estate agent may have advanced training and credentials, such as:
    • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
    • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions.
    • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers age 50-plus.

    An agent who is a Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors and has formally pledged to a code of ethics.

  3. Check the agent’s current listings. Looking at an agent’s online listings can give you an idea if they have a healthy business but aren't so busy they could be unavailable to you. It’s also a great way to look at their use of technology and attention to detail—are listings presented professionally and attractively with helpful, easy-to-understand content?
  4. Gauge their knowledge of the area. Ask about recent selling prices of other neighborhood homes. Is the agent well-informed about the community and special features of the neighborhood? Are they honest about something that could be a concern, such as traffic?
  5. Consider the agent’s communication style. Do you feel comfortable asking questions? Do they respond right away or have a support team that can offer assistance? Are they good at talking and negotiating? You may be spending a lot of time with the agent, who should be helping you make one of life’s largest decisions. It’s important you can easily communicate and that your personalities click.
  6. Take note of passion, but also compassion. Of course your agent should be enthusiastic about making a sale, but they should work with you, instead of pressuring you. Are they in tune with your personal needs and life circumstances to ensure the home and price are right for you and your budget? Don’t be afraid to listen to your gut and move on to a new agent if needed.

Experienced Real Estate Resources

As a Navy Federal Credit Union member, you have access to RealtyPlus®, a program that matches you with experienced local real estate agents and nationwide home searches. If you buy or sell a home through RealtyPlus, you may qualify for $400 to $8,000 cash back.1 Learn how RealtyPlus can partner with you they can partner with you to find the right home.

1The cash-back bonus is offered in most states and is available for individual sales and purchases of property; offer limited to one cash-back bonus per property with no limit on the amount of times you may use the program. In some states, a gift card or commission credit at closing may be provided in lieu of the cash-back bonus. The program is not available in IA or outside the U.S. Cash-back bonus is not available in AK, LA or OK. In KS and TN, a gift card with preloaded points that are ready for spending at specified retail establishments after closing will be issued. State regulations in KS limit the dollar amounts and the type of incentive. In MS, NJ, and OR, a commission reduction may be available at closing. Please check with the program coordinator for details. This is not a solicitation if you are already represented by a real estate broker. The cash-back bonus is only available with the purchase or sale of your home through the use of a program-referred and -approved real estate agent. The size of your cash-back award depends on the value of the property you are buying or selling. Obtaining the full $8,000 cash-back award requires transacting in a property valued at $1.75 million or greater. To calculate the size of your potential cash-back, please visit the RealtyPlus website: navyfederal.org/realtyplus. All real estate transactions are negotiable. Contact RealtyPlus for terms and conditions. Standard listing fees apply.

This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.