5 things people look for in a real estate agent

  • January 2, 2017
  • Stephanie Lai

When you ask people what they want in a real estate agent, they often say, “the perfect salesperson.” But when you dig a little deeper into their experiences with agents, you’ll find that it’s more about finding a Realtor® who is a perfect fit for them. Here are the five characteristics and traits that potential buyers and sellers like.

1. Attentive
That means someone who can listen to what clients want in a home and then act on those needs. Communications professional Amanda K. had specific standards for her new home. “My husband thought I was nuts,” she says of her demands. But her agent took it all in stride and told her: “This is my job. Give me all of your wishes – everything you want in a house, the price, everything.” Amanda says her agent came back a few days later with a list of houses. There’s no point in being a good listener if you don’t do anything with that information.

2. Direct
As much as clients might think they want someone to just whip up their dream home with the cheapest mortgage, many just want a real estate agent who is honest with them. Not all sellers have realistic expectations about what they can get for their home, so someone who is fair as well as direct will be very appreciated. Writer Jenn G. was appreciative that her recent agent was straight and to the point. “He helped me be realistic about what we could buy and when houses were over-asking.” But there is such a thing as being too honest: “You don’t want an agent who makes you feel like small potatoes,” adds Jenn.

3. Knowledgeable
As much as a real estate agent can sell and buy a home, they are just as much a guide throughout the whole process. And while consumers are more likely than ever before to do their research online, they want someone who knows what’s what. “I don’t need an agent to comment on paint,” says Amanda. “I want someone who knows what I can’t see; things like structural issues.”

4. Adaptable
Different families have different needs from their real estate agent. They want someone who is able to make the whole process convenient for them. And sometimes that means customizing what customer service means for their situation. All of the buyers and sellers we spoke with appreciate face-to-face meetings, flexible schedules and quick responses. One buyer we spoke with loved that her agent texted her during the day instead of calling so it wouldn’t interfere with her job.

5. Trustworthy
This is the biggest transaction someone will make, so they need someone who is worthy of their trust – bottom line. This makes the experience a positive one for buyers and sellers, which means referrals and loyalty. That’s what makes a great client-agent relationship. “I had an agent that was very knowledgeable, professional, patient, who really took time to walk me through being a first-time buyer and what [I should] look for,” says Kyle R., a factory worker. “She was just perfect.”