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How do I choose a REALTOR®?


I’ve been in competing interviews lately, and this question comes up.

For this article, let’s focus on assuming that you’re wanting to sell a property.

I noticed that one of my prospective clients seemed to think that all REALTOR®s are the same. We go to school, we get a license, we make you sign a bunch of paperwork and we poke a sign in your yard and we put some words and pictures into MLS and then we collect a big check.

Snort. I wish.

So I asked myself: “What if I needed to list something and couldn’t do it myself? What would I look for in an agent?”

It all came down to a combination of 3 qualities:

  • Experience
  • Motivation
  • Personality

EXPERIENCE: Obviously you want me to know what I’m doing. You want me to know the answers to your questions. You want me to have the confidence to admit it if I don’t know something. (Since I can’t know everything it’s important that I never shoot from the hip.) You want me to know where to get the answers if I don’t know. You want me to be capable of telling you hard truths.

Experience is not only “How many years have you been licensed?” Experience is “How many transactions have you successfully closed? How many deals have you closed in the past 3 years?”

MOTIVATION: Let’s be real, OK? If your REALTOR® doesn’t make their living by being a REALTOR® then you’re not going to get the focus that’s necessary to sell your property as quickly as possible. Consider that the speed of the sale equals money in your pocket.

If I have a financial “out” then it’s easier to justify blowing off going back to take better pictures and perfecting the presentation in MLS or answering the phone or returning a message or text or email immediately.

PERSONALITY: You are hiring a listing agent – I work for you, in your best interests. I have to care about you and what’s best for you, not just the paycheck. This relationship of ours will last months, so you’d better like and trust me. By the time the sale is closed we will literally have had hundreds of conversations.

Personality is more than simply being likeable. I’ll bet that you noticed the word “trust” in that last paragraph. We’re also looking for character and ethics and morals. Do you trust your agent? Does your dog like them? Do they give back to their profession? Have they gotten their Broker’s license? Have they taken the time and expense and trouble to get important extra designations and credentials? If not, why not?

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