The purchasing and selling of your home is one, if not the biggest financial transaction you will ever make. Having a Realtor by your side that is not only knowledgeable and experienced, but also one that places a high value on customer service is critical.

If you are selling your home, you should look for a Realtor that is interested in getting you the most money in the least amount of time, with the fewest hassles. If you are buying a house, you should look for one that is dedicated to getting you the best value for your money.

This article is meant to help you find that Realtor. Use these 3 tips to help find a competent real estate agent.

3 Tips to Finding a Competent Real Estate Agent

  1. Testimonials and References

According to Dana Dratch at, you can feel comfortable asking agents for a list of what they have listed and sold in the past year.

If you are buying, you will want to look at what the houses that were listed at and what they sold for. If you are selling, you will want to look at properties that are similar to yours in price, location, and important features.

Don’t be afraid to ask the Realtor for a list of references. If possible, follow up and contact a few of the references directly to see how the previous clients' real estate transactions went.

  1. Experience

Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his book, Outliers, about the importance of the 10,000 hour rule. The book examines why some people are so successful including Bill Gates and the Beatles. Obviously these successful people had talent, but they had something else as well.

One commonality that Gladwell found was that these successful people had practiced or apprenticed for 10,000 hours before they made it big. Bill Gates had the ability to start coding in his teens at a Seattle high school. The Beatles played eight-hour gigs in German clubs before they ever set foot in America.

Whether or not the there is magic in 10,000 hours of practice isn’t the point. What we are trying to say that experience is valuable.

When choosing a Realtor, it is important that the Realtor has experience. It is essential that he or she has seen the ups and downs in the market. It is critical that your Realtor has sold houses similar to what you are selling.

In an article by U.S. News Money, author Susan Johnston points out that it is important to ask the Realtor not just how many years they have been in business, but also how many houses they have sold and how many buyers he or she has worked with that have similar needs.

  1. Credentials

Make sure to pick a Realtor that has extra training. Here are two examples of credentials to look for:

  • CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): This credential means that they have additional training in handling residential real estate. 
  • ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative): This credential means that they have additional education in representing buyers in transactions. 

Take Away

Choosing a competent Realtor is one of the most important decisions you will be making when you are buying or selling a home. These three tips will help you make an educated decision.

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Not sure if right now is the best time to purchase a home? You won’t want to miss, One More Reason You Need to Buy Your Dream Home Now, to find out why now is a great time to buy.