The real estate industry is highly competitive for both buyer and seller. Buyers want to acquire the best property their resources can afford. Sellers want to extract every last cent of value on their property when putting it out to market. But the real estate market functions as an exchange between buyers and sellers.

The one who wins is the one who comes closest to his pricing objectives. This often comes down to the real estate agent you have on your side. Here are tips for picking a good real estate agent.

1. Get Referrals
This is probably the fastest and most secure way of finding a good real estate agent. But it certainly is not fool- proof.

Ask close friends and family; those whom you can trust will give you a good recommendation. Find out their experiences working with the agent. Try to get as much details as possible on their level of professionalism and overall working attitude.

If your friends or family are willing to disclose, ask for the commission fee charged and paid for.

2. Conduct an Extensive Search
In addition to referrals, conduct an extensive search for the best real estate agents in the market.

You can search online by launching a query and checking a number of real estate agency websites. Review the content on the website and visit their social media accounts if any. The most creditable ones should have social media accounts in LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Identify at least five of the best and reach out to them via e-mail or the “Contact Us” page.
You can also contact real estate associations or organizations within your area. They can help you connect with their member- agents.

3. Do Not Hire the First One
A very important rule when selecting the best candidates is to never hire the first one. This is not because the first candidates are the worst of the lot. But if you hired the first one that came along, you could be denying yourself the opportunity of hiring a better agent.

Come up with a short- list of around five candidates to choose from. Having more than one candidate will give you a reference point to compare another candidate. It will also encourage competition and bring up the level of performance.

4. Do Your Own Research
Before setting out to search for your real estate agent, you should do your research on the real estate industry.

Research on the latest developments in the industry, the warmest property locations, market pricing, the buying process, changes in legislation and on the tasks and responsibilities of a real estate agent.

Research will give you the necessary tools to understand the nature of the real estate’s job and to formulate an effective set of questions during the interview.

5. Hire Based on Right- Fit
There are many real estate agents in the market. The experience and expertise levels may be so close that it would be hard to differentiate who is the best candidate based on that criteria.

Assuming you do find someone with the best qualifications, that does not necessarily make the candidate the best. In the end, the best differentiator may be attitude.

Does the candidate understand your reasons for buying or selling property? Is the candidate aligned with your values when it comes to finding property and dealing with people? You would not want to work with an agent who appears to be interested in meeting only his objectives.

The best candidate for your real estate agent is one you can work with.

6. Test Fundamental and Technical Competence
You should test the competency levels of your candidates. Find out how much they know of the real estate market.

Get an idea on how they value property and engage them on discussions on strategy design. Put them into possible situations and uncover how they approach predicaments or unforeseen events.

Ask them how they conduct a Comparative Market Analysis. Find out if they are Internet proficient by asking if they use specific software programs for CRM, project management, collaboration and communication.

7. Do Due Diligence
Even if the candidates have passed the interview and tests on technical and fundamental competencies, leave no stone unturned and conduct due diligence work.

Ask them for their real estate agent licenses and verify their authenticity. Make sure these are valid.

Check their social media accounts. What they post or share will give you an idea how their minds work.

Sharing their experiences with a client whether good or bad is always a red flag. In every business arrangement there are only two parties. No one else should be privy to the arrangement. This shows lack of respect and trustworthiness.

Do a simple “Google search” of their names. You might be shocked at what information may come out!

8. Check Credentials
Ask the candidates to provide contact information on their previous clients. Make it a point to contact these people and find out how their working relationship was with the agent.

A candidate who does not provide at least three names should raise a red flag. Clients who are satisfied with results are more than happy to help out the agent by validating credentials.

9. Clear Out the Working Arrangement
From the outset, get an idea of how the candidate sets his work schedule with the client. Find out if his system will suit your schedule and if he is amenable to accommodate changes.

In addition to the schedule, discuss fees and other arrangements the candidate may include. It is best to get these discussed right away to avoid misunderstandings in the future. And it gives you a good reference point in terms of cost and pricing.

10. See Them in Action
If possible, ask the candidates if you could watch them in action. For example, check out how these candidates work during an auction.

You will get an idea on how the real estate agent negotiates during the interview. The most seasoned ones always remain eye contact, choose their words carefully, take time in crafting the best answer and articulate their thoughts very well.

Picking the right real estate agent for you may seem tedious but it is time worth spent considering the size of the investment. Your real estate agent can become instrumental in helping you find your dream home or the best price for your property. To learn more about buyer’s agents, make sure to check FlintProperty.