Working with a Real Estate Agent

Discover the importance of working with Real Estate Agents.

Why Work with a Real Estate Agent?

Buying or selling a home is a major life event which creates both excitement and stress! The amount of information available and the number of services claiming to be a one-stop-shop can be overwhelming. The stakes are high with such a major financial decision, and to get the best outcome you'll want a top real estate agent who will be on YOUR side. Working with a great best real estate agent will significantly enhance your experience and transaction.

A good real estate agent acts on your behalf throughout your real estate journey. If you're a buyer, this means they can help with neighborhood identification, home selection, submitting an offer, negotiating, and more. For real estate sellers, an agent can support pricing, listing, fielding offers, and moving your home sale forward. A top real estate agent will support your purchase or sale from start to finish and make sure your real estate dreams come true.

Benefits of working with an agent
For Buyers
Neighborhood identification
Home selection
Submitting an offer
For Sellers
Pricing support
Listing support
Fielding offers
Moving home sale forward

Whether it is you're a first time buyer or you've done this several times before, the best real estate agent can help guarantee that you get the most from the experience.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) the typical home buyer found several benefits provided by real estate agents including: helping understand the process, pointed out unnoticed features and faults with potential properties, knowledge about quality service providers in the area(e.g. inspectors, contractors, financing, etc), better negotiated terms, shortening the process and improving the buyer's knowledge of search areas. These are just some of the benefits the best local real estate agent will provide on the buyer side.

Sellers also have a tremendous amount to gain from working with a top real estate agent. Oftentimes property owners might try to sell their property without a real estate agent. In 2021 around 10% of all purchase transactions were done as For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) and these properties were sold at a median price of $225,000, significantly lower than the median of agent assisted homes at $345,000. That is an average of 35% more that you as a seller could be leaving on the table if you don't work with a top real estate agent.

Median purchase price of transactions
For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO)
Agent Assisted Homes

For example, let's imagine you're a home seller with a home worth about $300,000. If you attempted to sell the home yourself as a FSBO you lack the experience and connections to properly market the home, negotiate, and weed-out lowball offers, so you might end up losing the above noted 35% value, dropping your closing sale price to $195,000. If you were to work with an average or below average, you might close for $300,000, pay the agent a 3% commission of $9,000, and end up netting $291,000. However a top agent might be able to negotiate up or create a more competitive listing, upping the closing price by 10% to $330,000. After paying a 3% commission you're making $320,100; that's a difference of $29,100 in your pocket!

In addition to all the above added benefits, using the best local real estate agent can save you from future financial risk if you don't know how to skillfully evaluate a property, improperly complete necessary transaction paperwork, or fail to do your due diligence when weighing financing options. A skilled, veteran real estate agent can guide your transactions with their years of experience and technical know how.

The best real estate agents are your partners throughout the transaction, providing expertise, support, and a reassuring presence ensuring you achieve the outcomes you're aiming for.

Find Your Perfect Agent

Why Work with a REALTOR®?

You may have heard the terms Real Estate Agent and REALTOR® used interchangeably - however they are not the same thing. While you become a real estate agent after you have have passed the state licensing exam and begin practicing at a brokerage, a REALTOR® is “a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics”.

So although all REALTORS® are real estate agents, not all real estate agents are REALTORS®.

Working with a REALTOR® can have a number of benefits over working with someone who is a licensed real estate agent but lacks membership to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). Since its founding in 1908, NAR has been the industry leader for the best real estate agents and is currently the largest trade association in the country. An agent's REALTOR® designation means they abide by NAR's stringent Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice. Adherence to this Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to maintain a trustworthy business and act as upstanding members of the community, furthering cooperation between clients' interests. Made up of several Articles and Standards of Practice, this Code of Ethics is also reviewed regularly by a governing body to ensure it's keeping up with the times and any potential emerging issues.

This Code of Ethics has become a gold standard across the industry, and agents must elevate these practices to maintain their status as a REALTOR®. While there are undoubtedly some great agents who are not part of the organization, you know a REALTOR® will be putting your needs first and will provide you with an elevated experience.

How Can I Pick the Perfect Real Estate Agent or REALTOR®?

Choosing the right real estate agent is critical to making your transaction a success. But what is the best way to pick a top real estate agent or REALTOR®?

According to the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) there are nearly 3 million individuals in the United States with a real estate license, while the National Association of Realtors® boasts of over 1.6 million active REALTOR® members. But with so many agents to choose from, how can you know which of these agents is right for you?

Active real estate agents and REALTORS® in the United States
3 million
Individuals with a real estate license
1.6 million
Active REALTOR® members
Perfect agent for you

When selecting a top real estate agent or REALTOR®, you need to choose someone who will act as a partner in the journey.

9 of 10 NAR survey respondents considered these skills & qualities critical:
Honesty and integrity
Communication skills
Knowledge of the process
Knowledge of the market

These traits are so important that after working with a real estate agent, a 2021 study showed around 90% of buyers would either recommend their agent or use that same agent again in the future.

But beyond these general attributes, it's also important to consider the real estate specific expertise that is most important to you:

Expertise in the process - Whether you're buying or selling, a top real estate agent can determine competitive pricing by analyzing recent comparable transactions. The best real estate agents and REALTORS® are also experts in negotiation and know how to effectively counter offers in a competitive market. Good local real estate agents will also support you in completing all necessary documents associated with your transaction, such as offers/counter offers, disclosures, closing documents, and more.

Local knowledge & connections - As your deal moves forward you will need support from multiple service providers. Choosing the best local REALTOR® means you are connected to their network of working partners. Knowing you have a great real estate agent recommending everything from movers to a title company can help expedite the transaction and reduce the number of headaches.

Neighborhood & price point specialist - The top REALTORS® will be familiar with all of the neighborhoods you're most interested in. This means they should have a record of success closing deals there and understand competitive pricing strategies for those markets. They'll know about the best schools and restaurants as well as the average price per square foot.

Personal chemistry & connection - Selecting the right real estate agent means finding the person you connect and work best with. You'll want a top agent that understands your outlook on life, can connect with your needs and interests, and can help you understand the steps to move your transaction forward.

Find Your Perfect Agent

What Makes a Great Real Estate Agent?

With almost 3 million active real estate licensees in the U.S. it's hard to know what separates a great real estate agent from an average one. Fortunately, there are a few measures you can consider when evaluating agents and determining whether or not you want to work with them.

Years of experience
Real estate agent pay is all commission based, so agents are not having a long career in the industry unless they're closing deals. So, in addition to all the benefits that come with a seasoned veteran - neighborhood familiarity, servicing diverse transactions, working through market highs and lows, and more - you'll know your agent has the skills and experience to put their clients first and close transactions.
Transaction volume
The best local real estate agents will have a higher than average production volume. They are consistently, year over year, closing more deals than their competitors. How the best REALTORS® get this done is what makes them special, so while comparing real estate agents you will need to ask about some of their unique sales strategies.
Sales-to-list ratio
When a real estate agent presents a home for sale they have to set a price. This is called the list price, and it's typically determined by looking at the price of similar listings or recent closings in the area. When a real estate agent sells the home for more than it was listed for it creates a high sales-to-list ratio. If the home is sold for less than the list price, it creates a low sales to list ratio. A top real estate agent should have, on average, a sales-to-list ratio that is over 100%. It means they are more frequently selling a home for more than was expected and their clients are making more money. This is a great measure in particular for home sellers to review when searching for the best real estate agent.
Unique credentials
There are a large number of unique designations and certifications available to agents that can be earned through training and other opportunities from a variety of associations, private firms, and real estate institutions. The nature of these credentials cover a number of areas, like representing land transactions, becoming an accredited appraiser, utilizing digital marketing, and more.

How do I Interview Real Estate Agents and REALTORS®?

Holding an interview is an important step in solidifying your partnership with a top real estate agent.

An interview is an opportunity to determine whether or not you're a good fit to work together as well as receive concrete answers to the questions that are most important to you.

A few tips before you decide to meet with a real estate agent for an interview:

Identify your priorities
It's important to know what you are looking for in an agent prior to meeting with them. This could be specific skills, professional experience, personal characteristics, or a combination of all three. Agents spend a lot of time selling themselves and have well rehearsed talking points for why they are THE agent you want to work with. Knowing what you want out of an agent and sticking to it will help you find the partner you're looking for.
Prepare a list of questions
Having a set list of questions to ask an agent during an interview will allow you to control the conversation. You can start by asking about the items outlined in What Makes a Great Real Estate Agent or generate your own about whatever's most important to you. Keep in mind that an agent's answers may change based on whether you're looking to buy, sell, or both.
Trust your gut

Although less scientific in nature, it's important that you feel a personal connection with a real estate agent, and an interview is often the first time this might surface. This agent will be representing you while making a major financial investment so you need to trust them to do what's best for you. There may also be many times you ask for your agent's opinion when presented with multiple options, so you'll need to value their decision making process. Overall, the “gut-check” is immeasurable, but you'll know the right connection to an agent when you feel it.

Your interviews with agents may all look different, and that's ok too. There's no right or wrong way to screen an agent, and what's ultimately important is that you're finding the perfect agent for you.

If you're ready to begin interviews, get connected to top real estate agents today.

Find Your Perfect Agent

Where Can I Get a List of Real Estate Agents and REALTORS®?

There are lots of ways to find a potential real estate agent - local ads or billboards, the phonebook or even a local brokerage office - but the most common way for people to find their real estate agent is through a referral. In fact nearly 50% of buyers find their agent this way, typically from a friend, family member or neighbor.

Where to find your real estate agent
Family and friends
Online referral networks

Family and friends - You probably have family and friends in your local community that are homeowners. This means at some point they worked with a top real estate agent to buy their home. You can tap into this personal network to find out which real estate agent your family members and friends have worked with.

Neighbors - If you want to sell your home you can ask your current neighbors about the agents they worked with when purchasing their homes. One benefit of this approach is that you already know the agent has completed successful transactions in the neighborhood and should be very familiar with the area.

A connection from someone close to you is a fantastic source of potential real estate referrals; however, you're limited to agents they have worked with before.

Unless your contact is a professional in the real estate industry they have likely only successfully navigated this type of journey a couple of times. The perfect real estate agent for you might be right around the corner, and you wouldn't know it.

Luckily there is a way to super-charge the referrals you have access to! It's possible to find a real estate agent while focusing on the criteria and elements outlined above by catering the list of candidates to individuals that would make the best real estate agent for you. 

Online referral networks have the ability to sift through thousands of potential real estate agents and identify the ones that are right for you. By leveraging the data associated with agents and the thousands of real estate transactions that happen every month they can take advantage of everyone's experience to amplify the referrals you now have access to. is one such platform; allowing you to view a real estate agent's profile and connect with the REALTORS® that make the most sense for you.

How Can I Get Real Estate Agent and REALTOR® Recommendations?

The best way to find top real estate recommendations is by using is a platform built on nearly 20 years of experience in analyzing agent performance and client preferences to create AI-powered matches that connect you with the best real estate agents.

Every year, over 700k clients such as yourself, use the platform to find their ideal REALTOR for their real estate journey; leading to over $2 billion in successful annual transaction volume.

By analyzing past transactions, agent & client behavior and market dynamics we can curate a custom real estate agent list specifically for you.

It only takes a minute to submit your request, the service is 100% free and our licensed customer service team is available to answer any questions you may have along the way. We’re committed to finding you the perfect agent!

You can click here to get connected with your perfect agent and begin screening real estate agents today!