Dating your real estate agent

Search Engine Optimization training, E-listings and other fancy add-ons might sound nice to have, but are typically money-making schemes that won’t aid in your search.

On top of all this, don’t be tempted to hire the mega-star “top producer” realtor, says Allan.

Here are 10 questions to ask a potential real estate agent or broker. What percentage of your clients are sellers (versus buyers)? Hint: The busiest agents often are also the most efficient. And it doesn’t hurt to ask if they own their own homes: A Trulia Trends study shows that 85% of brokers and agents are homeowners. Insights from past customers can help you learn more about an agent and give you a greater comfort level.

Agents who mostly work with buyers will have a different set of skills from those who primarily represent sellers. You want someone who can spout off neighborhood stats like a true local. In other words, will your agent handle all aspects of the transaction or will they delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? Picking a real estate pro is a key decision in the home-buying (and selling! So many great real estate professionals are out there willing to work hard for you, so consider the advice above as you make your selection.

“You want it to be their career.” Ensure your agent is up to snuff by making sure he or she has at least two years’ experience and by doing your homework, says Glink.

Here's what she recommends: Ask to look at the agents’ resume. Verify that he or she’s a member of the National Association of Realtors.

Get in touch with the last five or 10 people your agent sold property for and ask how it went. Google the realtor’s name with the word “complaint” next to it. Check for additional training, like the Accredited Business Representative certification, or that the agent graduated from the Real Estate Institute (GRI).

“Everyone deserves time off,” she says, “but an extended vacation, or not sharing vacation plans with the client and how they plan to stay on top of your listing while they’re away is just out of line.” Photo Credit: Getty Images The very first meeting with your agent should feel like a counseling session. You want someone with the heart of an adviser,” not someone who acts like a used car salesman.

You should feel confident your agent is along for the ride and has your best interests at heart. With this in mind, dump any agent who wants to know how motivated you are (insulting) or who trots out the “dog and pony show.” Discussing work processes and the market are important, but patiently assessing your wants and needs will help your agent determine whether you’re on the same page and can work well together.

You may think you want a bulldog who will fight for a deal, but if you don’t like your agent, chances are, no one else will either.

So choose the most qualified person for the job, but also someone you think will make a good partner at every step of the journey.

Search for dating your real estate agent:

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Well-meaning neighbors, friends, and family members try to set you up with someone they know, you meet to see “if it’s a good fit,” and maybe enter a relationship — or in this case, a buyer-broker agreement.

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