When you are looking for a new home or hoping to sell your existing home, it’s likely that you’ll work with a real estate agent to locate a property or find a buyer. Among your circle of friends and acquaintances, there are probably a handful who are licensed realtors, all willing to help you take the next steps in buying or selling real estate.

Beyond familiarity and eagerness, what traits should you consider when selecting a real estate agent? Having dealt with numerous realtors, I considered characteristics that have been most helpful to me in arranging profitable deals. Here are traits to look for in a real estate agent:

1. Knowledgeable About the Local Real Estate Market

Real Estate MarketYou want to work with someone who understands not only the local customs but the local real estate market itself. Being born and raised in the area may be useful. But the person who is invaluable has his pulse on local trends; he knows which neighborhoods are in demand, understands the reasons for fluctuations in property values, and is familiar with the mindsets of buyers in your city or town. Having local knowledge allows him to expertly advise you on details from making offers to pricing your home.

Difference Between Agents That Work For Buyers and Sellers

2. Unwavering in Dedication To You

Look for the agent who is dedicated to service in all circumstances, including unexpected turns of events like a last-minute change of mind by a seller or property flaw uncovered by an inspection. She doesn’t get frustrated at setbacks but views tenacious problem solving as an integral part of her role. When a problem emerges, she unwaveringly deals with challenges to make sure your needs are served.

3. Transparent but Discreet

TruthYou definitely want to work with an honest real estate agent who educates you not only on the buying or selling process but also on all aspects of the deal you are pursuing. His transparency enables you to make informed decisions.

At the same time, the agent is also discreet. He provides details that are relevant to a property, its condition, its pricing, and even the buyers’ or sellers’ motivation, which may affect contract negotiations. But he doesn’t reveal confidential information immaterial to the business transaction.

4. Available

The real estate agent to engage is the one who is accessible when you are ready to move forward. Generally, such a person is available most evenings and weekends. The available agent graciously agrees to take your call or meet you to view a property, answer urgent questions, or finalize a deal according to your timetable.

5. Confident

Confident Real Estate AgentFind an agent who is confident and instills confidence in others. Communications are straightforward, problems are solved, and deadlines are maintained when others involved (whether buyers or sellers, collaborating agents, or related professionals, such as closing attorneys) have confidence in the knowledge, professionalism, and reliability of your real estate agent.

6. Principled

Pay attention to how principled your real estate agent is at all times. Choose someone who has integrity throughout what can be a lengthy, complicated process of buying or selling a home. The principled person is not willing to compromise or take shortcuts to close a deal.

7. Unbiased

Real Estate AgentsAn unbiased real estate agent is desirable because she truly listens to your needs, rather than imagining your preferences based on your stage of life, occupation, etc. She is more likely to offer sound guidance that fits your stated requirements.

The best real estate agents exemplify traits of knowledge, dedication, transparency, availability, confidence, integrity, and sound judgment. They seemingly effortlessly locate and recommend the right properties, negotiate prices, resolve difficulties, and make sure real estate closings proceed smoothly, all while behaving in a professional, pleasant manner.

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