How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent
Homeowners and homebuyers often ask how to find the best real estate agent and what should my real estate agent do for me? These questions arise because of public perception that realtors make a lot of money for not much work.
Trustworthiness and honesty are qualities that consumers say they want in a realtor, which is why many choose a friend who is a realtor even if the friend has little or no real estate experience. This choice often causes stress in marital relationships when a husband or wife insists on using a realtor friend who underperforms.
Public Perception of the Integrity of Real Estate Agents is Average
According to a Gallup Poll, Honesty/Ethics in Professions, the “average” image, and integrity of car salespeople is close to that of realtors. In contrast, trust in Congress members averages 29%, with nurses being one of the most trusted professions. In a 2018 poll, fifty-four percent of the public view real estate agents as having an “average” level of trustworthiness and integrity—with the numbers for high and low trustworthiness split between the remaining forty-six percent.
The Best Real Estate Agents Work Hard and Play Hard
While the best real estate agent may run highly profitable offices, many work 60-80 hours each week to ensure an exceptional reputation and high customer service level. Sam Wilson is an ethical and honest realtor in Lakewood Colorado and one of the best real estate agents in the Denver metro area.
In this article about the best real estate agents, we are not talking about discount real estate brokers. If you are looking for a low commission or a flat fee, you may already know the answer to what my real estate agent should do for me—which may be limited to listing your home.
The Difference Between Good, Better, and Best: How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent
Any realtor with a real estate license may be considered a good realtor if they work for one of the best real estate agents who has the experience to fill in experience and education gaps. All realtors begin as new realtors and learn through the experience of assisting home buyers and sellers.
A better realtor is an agent, who may be new to the real estate business, but was a successful salesperson in a prior job. Many individuals pursuing a real estate career are surprised that selling and negotiation skills make the difference between being good, better, and the best realtor for a client.
To bridge the gap between better and how to find the best realtor, let’s address the elephant in the room, real estate commissions, and income. According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2019, a realtor’s average income was $49,700 a year.
This number is probably shocking to most home buyers or sellers who imagine real estate to be a lucrative career. The truth is that most realtors leave a real estate career within the first 2-3 years, or they continue in real estate part-time while working a full-time job.
9 Tips for How to Find the Best Realtor
The best real estate agents who earn higher incomes are full-time real estate agents. Top realtors have a track record of success, an excellent reputation, local market knowledge, and exceptional negotiation skills. Part of the answer in how to find the best realtor is to interview full-time realtors who will be available to you when you need them.
Highly skilled realtors are also experts in customer service who make you feel good about working with them. Realtors on the Sam Wilson Home Selling Team in Lakewood, Colorado, are available to clients from beginning to closing, and they possess exceptional communication skills.
Clients who work with Sam Wilson and his team never wonder what is happening with a real estate deal. Updates are provided on an ongoing basis.
Read what customers of the Sam Wilson Home Selling Team have to say.
What You Should Expect From Your Real Estate Agent
Below is a list of expectations to answer the questions, how to find the best realtor, and what should my real estate agent do for me? These professional skills are in addition to standard real estate practices like discussing loan pre-approvals, home inspections, pricing a home, evaluating offers from qualified buyers, and educating home sellers and home buyers throughout the real estate process
1 – Full disclosure and honesty
The best real estate agent provides full disclosure of information, has good character, and is honest. When interviewing agents, you should question any realtor who makes a negative comment about another realtor. Disparaging realtors’ words, while against the NAR code of ethics, may happen in competitive situations where one realtor prices a home higher than another realtor to get your business.
If you hire a realtor with questionable ethics or honesty, know that you get what you employ. The same realtor may not be totally honest with you about other aspects of the real estate process or in his or her negotiation tactics.
2 – Fiduciary responsibility
Fiduciary responsibility means placing the best interest of the client first. A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation of the highest degree for one party to act in the best interest of another.
The real issue is that most real estate agents typically don’t understand fiduciary responsibility nor do they discuss it with their clients. Most realtors join the business to earn commissions rather than delivering on their financial responsibility to clients. This lack of fiduciary responsibility, in part, is why realtors in general, have poor reputations.
Because real estate transactions can be emotional, the commission battle is an internal mindset of “I win – you lose” for some real estate agents, rather than “both sides win,” and is illustrated in scenarios A and B.
Scenario A represents the internal thoughts of a self-interested realtor. Scenario B represents a discussion that a realtor, acting in his or her fiduciary role, has with the realtor on the other side of the deal when disagreements exist that can be resolved.
A ) “If this doesn’t close I won’t get paid for all my hard work. I’ve got to get the deal to close. I need to fight both my client and the other side to convince everyone this is a good deal and needs to close even if I make an enemy of the other realtor and my client feels pressured. I need to get paid.”
Versus: The fiduciary agent: put clients first! Recommending the tougher choice sometimes is better for the client!
B) “It would be disappointing for both of our clients to have this deal fall through over these issues. But I certainly understand if you (talking to the real estate agent on the other side of the deal and to the homeowner or homebuyer) want to walk away and start all over again. Before we send over the paperwork to terminate the agreement and both of us and our clients have to start all over again, here’s one idea to work this out (an alternative is offered). If this isn’t reasonable, I understand if you and your client want to walk away and keep searching for another property.”
A component of “B” that has the goal of working out the best alternative for everyone is focusing on a win-win situation that takes the emotions out of the transaction to look at the bigger picture of what is best for the client. Realtors who have the knowledge and experience to serve as advisors to their clients smooth out common problems that cause real estate deals to fall apart.
3 – Communication and availability
One of the most common complaints from home sellers and home buyers is that their realtor does not communicate well or often and isn’t available when needed. Poor communication may be an issue if you hire a part-time realtor who has a full-time job doing something else.
In the best situations, what you should expect from your real estate agent is access to an assistant or someone else in the real estate brokerage who can take your questions and get an answer if the realtor you hired is unavailable when you call.
4 – Professionalism and an excellent reputation
How to find the best real estate agent involves the search for professionalism and an excellent reputation. This search starts with something as simple as an Internet presence. Does the realtor you are considering have more than a name and phone number listed on a website?
Does the website of the realtor or the real estate team offer helpful information for clients? Is there a testimonial or an about us page? Is it easy to find information about the realtor if you search by name or company name?
If you can’t easily find information about the realtor you want to hire—or the realtor you hired—you may be working with a realtor who doesn’t know how to market or present him or herself to the public. If this is the case, how will this realtor market your home for sale? If you are a home buyer, how will this realtor represent your interests or negotiate for you?
Part of how to find the best real estate agent means doing a little research to see if you can find public information about the realtor you want to hire. Human resources managers today typically complete an internet search for potential candidates. You may know this, but you would be shocked at some of the things people post on the Internet that they think no one will discover.
5 – A track record of client satisfaction and closing success
Any real estate agent can get a listing or a buyer’s agent agreement. After this, the challenge is the effort and time that a real estate agent commits to serving a client.
The time and effort to work toward acceptance of an can be substantial. After this, your realtor works toward a closing date. With all of the complexities that happen in the middle of the deal, it can seem like an adventure in everything that can go wrong if you choose the wrong realtor.
Home inspection issues, home buyer loan approval issues, and other unexpected situations benefit from hiring a realtor with experience navigating and negotiating these pitfalls. Real estate deals fall through for many reasons—poor negotiation skills being one of them.
6 – Market knowledge
Market knowledge is another area where the answer for how to find the best real estate agent is essential. When interviewing agents be sure to ask about experience in the local market.
Whether you are buying or selling, in-depth knowledge of the market, market pricing, statistics, and other factors is vital to make sure you are appropriately represented. Ask your realtor for a thorough market analysis and if you are interviewing, do a side-by-side comparison of the information you receive.
7 – Negotiation and education skills
There is no substitute for sales and negotiating skills. How many of you like to negotiate when buying an automobile or making another large purchase. The truth is that most consumers hate negotiating on price.
Negotiation is a natural skill for the best realtors and—believe it or not—a skill that highly experienced agents enjoy. Negotiation and educating home buyers and sellers are skills lacking in newer or inexperienced real estate agents.
8 – Impeccable follow-through
If you are not new to the home buying and home selling experience, you know that impeccable follow-through is vital in all real estate deals. Making your way to the closing table is filled with due date pitfalls that inattentive agents miss. Hiring the best real estate agent raises the odds that your home will close on time. The skills possessed by the best real estate agent can make up for mistakes and errors by the other side that can derail closing dates.
9 – Above-average marketing
Above-average marketing begins with investigating how your real estate agent markets and presents him or herself. Does your agent have a professional appearance, or does he or she show up in casual attire? While casual attire may be acceptable, a professional appearance is a sign of respect for home buyers and home sellers. Unless you tell your realtor that it’s okay for them to show up in jeans, you should expect better.
Above-average marketing includes drone shots of homes for sale, professional videos and photo reels, an internet presence for the home, email and social media marketing, and more. Knowing what you should expect from your realtor is his or her willingness and ability to go above and beyond in every aspect and interaction with you.
Wondering How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent? The Sam Wilson Home Selling Team is Ready to Work for You
Are you thinking about buying a home in Lakewood, CO? Get expert real estate advice when house hunting for homes for sale in Lakewood, CO, Jefferson County, and the Denver metro area. Work with a buyer’s agent on the Sam Wilson Home Selling Team. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, we make you a priority and share our expertise to make the home buying or selling process as stress-free as possible.
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The Sam Wilson Home Selling Team specializes in homes in Lakewood CO, and Jefferson County Colorado, including Aspen Park, Conifer, Indian Hills, Kittredge, Golden, Edgewater, Mountain View, Wheat Ridge, Morrison, Genesee, Lakeside, Evergreen, Ken Caryl, Idledale, and West Pleasant View.
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