The Best Tips for Finding the Perfect Real Estate Agent in This Wild Market

published Aug 9, 2022
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Have you considered buying a house lately? If you have, then you’re probably intimately aware of how wild the housing market is right now. Mortgage rates are rising, home inventory is low, competition is cutthroat and intense, and prices are all over the map. Even rental prices seem to be out of control. All of this combined makes it essential that you have a real estate agent who can navigate this bonkers market.

If you’re not sure what to look for, I talked to the pros at Compass and Coldwell Banker to find out. Here are their best tips for finding a perfect match.

How long have they been working in your market?

“On the sales side, look for an agent with a lot of experience but not so much that they could be at or near the end of their career — think ‘seasoned,’ but not ‘checked out.’ If you find an agent with a good, successful track record in your building, that is someone to interview. Or find someone who knows the neighborhood well and can speak to prospective buyers about the benefits and perks of living in that specific area. On the buyer side, again, find a seasoned agent who is motivated enough to look for off-market listings and willing to really roll up their sleeves and search high and low for the right apartment. I also think it is important to ask the prospective buyer’s representative what their relationships are like with other agents in their industry. Many deals are made because of those relationships, especially in a competitive market with little inventory.” —Broker Michael J. Franco of Compass

“Search for the agents that do a lot of business in the area that you’re targeting. I, for example, have developed my business to be predominantly Brooklyn, and some agents target even more granularly so their friends know they’re an expert in a specific area(s).” Marie Bromberg, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Compass in NYC

Do you trust them?

“Your agent is, in many ways, an extension of you. The agent needs to understand what your next chapter of life looks like in terms of where and how you live in your home. The relationship between a buyer and an agent can be intimate too. You should trust this agent and feel comfortable letting this person see parts of yourself and your life that you might not show to just anyone. It’s a professional relationship, of course, but buying a home can be very personal.” —Agent Steven Gottlieb of Coldwell Banker Warburg

“In today’s hyper-competitive housing market, the right real estate agent makes all the difference to navigate the process with your best interest in mind. Arguably the most important quality between you and your real estate agent is trust. Oftentimes that can come in the form of referrals from friends and family. Otherwise, researching agents in your market and taking the time to interview a few agents for that ‘vibe check’ is important. At the end of the day, check out the contract presented by the agent and go with your gut.” Carolyn Gagnon, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Compass in NYC

Do they have varied market experience?

“The first criteria a buyer shopping for an agent should apply is: does the agent in question have longevity of experience in both seller’s and buyer’s markets? The recent post-COVID market has put agents with the right connections and momentum in the position to close quicker and more lucrative deals, but does the agent you are speaking with have experience in balanced and/or buyer’s markets where negotiability, marketing strategy, and complexity may move in a different direction? An agent’s diversity of experience in multiple market environments will lend itself well to a client in the coming years given the headwinds of economic uncertainty.” Ian Katz, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with Compass in NYC

Were they recommended to you?

“In this market, it is best to inquire with neighbors, doormen, or friends and ask them for names of agents with whom they have had good experiences. There are so many elements that are involved with selecting a real estate agent, above and beyond obtaining the best price for your home. Looking at an agent’s track record, or who has sold the most apartments in a building may not be the best way to decide. Some issues to consider are: Did the agent return calls promptly? How much experience does the agent have in financing? Does the agent have a strong online presence? Does the firm that holds the agent’s license have an easily accessible website? Does the agent use a professional photographer and a professional floor plan service? Does the agent use videos?” —Broker Gerard Splendore of Coldwell Banker Warburg

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: The Best Tips for Finding the Perfect Real Estate Agent in this Bonkers Market