The number of licensed real estate agents in the United States is steadily rebounding ever since the Great Recession forced nearly half of real estate agents and REALTOR® out of the real estate industry and into other industries or completely out of work.

According to The National Association of Realtor®, there are approximately 2.1 million REALTOR® in the United States.  Which brings up the question, how do you find a good REALTOR® or real estate agent in your local area that looks after your best interest?  We intend to answer that question in the tips for finding real estate agent in your neighborhood. The appropriate or best fitted real estate agent should help you – the home buyer or seller – execute your objectives in a timely and professional manner.

So what does this mean? We will explain further.  Please note that dealing with the wrong real real agent could essentially burn up your time and money overnight, leaving you frustrated and angry. So, these tips for finding real estate agents are essential.

AgentRave.com was created to help home buyers and sellers select the right real estate agent in their area.  On AgentRave, all real estate agents get a profile with detail information about the real estate agent; including real estate agent’s contact information, zip codes of focus, license number, neighborhoods of focus, property specialization, hobbies, etc.

Although the nuances may appear subtle when searching for a real estate agent, it is extremely important that home buyers and sellers pay attention to as many subtle differences as possible.  A real estate agent, for example, that specializes in more than 30 neighborhoods may not be the right agent for you for they may lack adequate knowledge of your neighborhood. Here are 5 critical tips to keep in mind when searching for a real estate agent or REALTOR®:

  1. Ask people around your neighborhood who recently bought or sold a home. Pay very close attention to how they describe their real estate agent and the transaction process. “She was very nice” or “He sent us gifts after we bought the house” are important compliments but you need to learn more about the transaction and professionalism of the real estate agent or REALTOR®.  For example “She responded to our text messages within a few hours and was always on time with paper work”. “He negotiated a price that we never thought was possible in this market on our behalf and he knew exactly what to say to get us the best deal”.  These are compliments of great value that must be sought after during your probing session(s).
  1. Validate your findings. Validate your findings by visiting websites like AgentRave.com.  You can search for a real estate agent by first name, last name, neighborhood of focus, zip codes, etc.  Check out the real estate agent’s profile and read the reviews to learn more about the real estate agent beyond what you were told.  Are the reviews consistent with what you’ve heard or do they defer by a vast margin?  Does the real estate real estate agent specialize in residential properties, commercial or both?  Does the estate real agent live in or around your neighborhood?
  1. Your price range is a problem. Some real estate agents prefer to work above a certain price range but may not disclose this information to their buyers or sellers in the initial stage.  And some will let you know immediately whether your budget is within their working price range or not.  Ask your real estate agent how many properties have they sold in the past 12 months and the average price range.  If, for instance, you are searching for a home priced between $350,000 and $425,000, and your agent sold 8 homes in the past 12 months at an average price of $150,000, you may be forming the wrong partnership.  This is not to devalue a real estate agent who may be new to the industry – sometimes agents have to sell a few low priced homes before moving into higher priced home.  Make sure the real estate agent is capable of executing your deal.
  1. Is the real estate agent a buyer’s agent or seller’s agent? Most home buyers and sellers assume that a real estate agent should be able to seamlessly help them buy or sell their home.  Well, I have news for you.  Some real estate agents prefer to work with sellers rather than buyers.  The primary reason for this stigma is that buyers tend to require more time than sellers.  The transaction with sellers is much faster – you list the house once and market it to potential buyers.  Contract this process with a buyer’s agent – who may have to show 100+ homes before a sale.  In some cases, the buyer may simply decide to rent rather than buy.   And of course, there are some great real estate agents who deal exclusively with buyers.  You can search for either a buyer’s agent or a seller’s agent here.   So, if you are a buyer, you may want to ask your prospective real estate agent how many transactions they’ve had in the last 12 months and how many of those were buyer related?
  1. What is the real estate agent’s primary goal? This is a tricky question that requires a little more probing than a direct inquiry.  I know of an agent who’s primarily goal is to sell 120 homes in 12 months.  Of course, this is an aggressive but attainable goal.  The concern with this particular agent is he has absolutely no time to waste on indecisive buyers and sellers.  We all know that owning a home is a massive financial and at times emotional commitment.  Thus, you will want to choose an real estate agent who can meet both needs.  Many experienced real estate agents understand the dynamics when dealing with a seller or buyer.

To summarize, make sure you have done your homework on the real estate agent prior to selecting him/her to represent you.  The wrong agent could cause you many migraines and financial ruins.  But the right agent could very well help you reach your financial goals a little sooner by saving you thousands or hundreds of thousands on lack repairs (because they help you buy a sound home), insurance, private schools (because they got you in one of the best school districts), and potentially your marriage. 🙂

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