Tips for Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Owning a home may be the American Dream, but the process of buying and selling one can be complex. You can ensure a smoother transaction by using a real estate professional. Here are some tips to help you find the best agent for you:

  1. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers who’ve recently bought or sold homes in your area.Which company and agent did they work with? What kind of service did they receive? Would they work with the same agent again?
  2. Check out “For Sale” signs in your area and note which ones have sold.You want to be sure you’re choosing an agent who gets results.
  3. Attend open houses in your area. At open houses, you can watch agents in action, judge their sales expertise and collect information on properties that are competing with yours. A top-notch agent will provide a fact sheet about the property and will be prepared with information on similar properties and listings for the entire area.
  4. Look for companies that specialize in the kind of real estate you want to buy or sell. 
  5. Look for agents who specialize in the area. 
  6. Narrow your search to five or fewer. Once you’ve narrowed your search, you’re ready to contact and interview agents.
  7. Find out whether the agent is a member of a professional association. Use of the term REALTOR® designates membership in a local board of REALTORS®, the Utah Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. Members are required to follow a strict code of ethics and are encouraged to pursue continuing real estate education.
  8. Audition your agent. During each listing presentation, evaluate the agent’s preparation, competence and professionalism as well as the company’s services.
  9. Look for an agent who shows enthusiasm and a positive attitude toward your house. That isn’t necessarily the person who talks fastest or longest. It may be the agent who asks a lot of questions and takes notes on decorating, construction, landscaping and personal property that will remain with the house.

The decision about whether to choose an experienced or inexperienced agent is a personal one. Sometimes a rookie’s enthusiasm and motivation outweigh a lack of experience. Others may prefer working with a veteran REALTOR® who has established a successful sales record.