Meet agents out in their working environment, not in their offices. Good agents spend very little time at their desks.
Make sure the agent has closed many properties and has worked a few years at least. You will want an agent to work for you. More closings mean more experience.
Contact the agent with whom a friend or relative worked. If this agent produced positive results for a friend, there’s a good chance they will do the same for you.
Make sure your agent is online. Having a web savvy agent is very important today as over 85 percent of all buyers initially see their homes online. Great agents have laptops and often have moved to mobile technology to assist. A real estate agent in today’s world must email, text, and be available to buyers and sellers alike.
Interview several agents. Whether you are looking for a buyer agent or seller agent, remember, agents will tell you what you want to hear. Make sure they are not selling you a dream partnership... you want to hire a realistic real estate agent. Don’t sign a buyers’ agreement form before looking for property (you should feel free to build trust with a real estate agent over several hours of looking before signing anything).
Look for signs that the agent is busy. A hard-working, go-getter of an agent is good. Be careful, sometimes they are too busy. A real estate agent can only effectively work with about a half-dozen buyers and a dozen sellers at any given time to properly give the time needed to a buyer. If they pass you to an “assistant”, move.
Be sure that your agent is knowledgeable. Ask questions. An excellent agent is the most important to you when buying a home for the first time. They should have experience and should be able to guide you through the complexities of the process including lender info that you will have to provide.
See how the agent’s MLS listings come up in searches. However if you wish to purchase your dream home that is not for sale it will not show up on the MLS. When listing in today’s market, all listings from small to big should have professional photos - this is the first sign of a professional real estate agent who understands today’s market.
Do some research. How respected is the brokerage/agent... You want an agent that will network and work cooperatively with other agents. Seasoned agents tend to know the other agents in the area and have good working relationships with them. This tends to transform into good transactions.
Check the references that an agent should be able to provide you. Ask the other real estate agents you interview if they know the other agent and if they respect them as a real estate agent.
Ask your agent where they live. An agent that lives and works locally will have their finger on the pulse of the market and be able to answer important questions about the community. They should at a minimum know the schools where they work.
Ask “Can you recommend service providers who can assist me in obtaining a mortgage, making repairs on my home, and other things I need done?” Keep in mind here that a real estate agent should generally recommend more than one provider and shouldn’t receive any compensation (ethical issues tend to arise when this happens).
Ask the agent if the real estate agent is a full time agent. Is this her only job? You should demand a full time agent.
Ask “How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently?” Using what media? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but that one reflects your desires.
Finally you should have a good working relationship with your agent and know they have your "best interest at heart" and they should, it is their job!
1263 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, ME 04071