How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent For You



Finding the perfect fit real estate agent to work for you and your housing needs is not a task to take lightly.

You want a real estate agent that knows all about the latest real estate trends and who will guide you in the right direction.

Find a real estate agent who will be just as excited as you are to see a Sold sign as they are to close a deal. A happy client who sends referrals and returns as a customer in the future means the agent went above and beyond.

You want this real estate agent working for you, but how do you find them?

Whether you are a first time home buyer or have had your feet dipped in the real estate market don’t rush to find a real estate agent.

Taking the time to hand-pick the best real estate agent in your area that works best with you is key to your buying and selling success.

Not everyone wants to hire a real estate agent as they choose to go it alone with for sale by owner or buying a house privately. This is perfectly fine as long as you keep informed about what you are getting yourself into as you are ultimately in charge of the real estate contract and end deal.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to save yourself the commission but keep in mind that you are playing many roles and with that comes a bit more added stress but worth the savings.

Should you hire a new real estate agent?

Some potential homeowners may be worried about hiring a new real estate agent on the scene but you can still get excellent service from someone who is just starting out. We all have to start somewhere but be cautious as it’s your money on the line. What you may not get is the hands on experience so there are plenty of questions you need to ask yourself before you start a real estate agent hunt.

Buying a house is one of the biggest debts you will ever incur unless you have the cash to pay for it upfront. Even so, if you don’t have a real estate agent that is on your side and not out just to close the deal and cash-in you may get stuck with a lemon of a house. Yes, they do exist as I’ve seen them myself.

Today I have a fan who wrote me wanting some tips about finding a real estate agent to help him purchase his first home but he’s got a few obstacles in the way that he needs to take care of first.

Dear Mr.CBB

I’m writing you because I read a blog post where you talk about buying your first house in your 20’s which I am about to do but I’m not sure where to go to find the best real estate agent. While talking to my parents who I trust about my wish to purchase a house they were confident in my ability to be a homeowner. I’ve always been a hard-working, trust-worthy son who would do just about anything to earn money and save it for my future.

Since I’ve got my University paid for from saving money and help from my parents I’ve been able to bank almost $40,000 for a house down-payment over the years. I’m now 26 and ready to buy my first home and I’d like it to be close to my work so I don’t have to commute long or walking is even better. I would like a parking space for my car and at least 3 bedrooms, full-basement and the house to be fully finished.

I know that’s asking quite a bit but since I’m still finishing up my last year before becoming a dentist so I’d like it to be as easy of a process as I can. I don’t want to wait until I’m done school because life will become even busier for me as I start my career.

I understand that in the future I will be earning a larger income but for now I want to concentrate on what I know I am earning. My parents think I should go ahead and buy a big house since they believe I’ll have no issues moving forward to pay the mortgage once I’m a dentist.

Related: Buy the least expensive house in the most expensive neighbourhood

I on the other hand am not comfortable with this practice and would like to buy something small that I can grow in over the years and possibly use as a rental. If in the future I want to move into something a bit larger I would like that option. My parents say that having to pay a real estate agent twice is not worth the money and being a landlord will be too much responsibility with the type of career I will have. I’m sure I’ll be fine though and they are just looking out for me.

They are also both dentists so I can understand how they may understand the financial aspects of the industry but I want to do this on my own. They are also saying that I should use their real estate agent to help me find the house I want to buy. I’m not comfortable with doing so as I’d like to find an agent that is a perfect fit for my needs. I’ve overheard their agent chatting to them when they bought and sold their house and honestly I just don’t see that we would have a working connection.

How do I go about finding the best real estate agent in my area and what should I tell my parents without upsetting them? Did your parents influence the purchase of your first home?


Hey JL,

Congrats on almost finishing dental school but most of all huge high-five for wanting to buy your first house at a young age. You are right I did buy my house younger than most adults might today but I’m happy with the decision I made because it has earned me a generous amount of money that I would have never had if I hadn’t bought early.

It sounds to me like your parents are doing their best to try and help you out but you feel they are hovering too much because you are an adult and can make your own decisions. I don’t blame you one bit. I never went crazy buying a big house when I was young. I bought a flat and I also found my own real estate agent (estate agent in the UK).

Related: Young adult teaches us about being house poor in 15 minutes

My parents did not live in the same village so I set out to find a real estate agent that I knew would get the job done and do it right. Even if my parents had a local real estate agent in mind for me I’d more than likely have spoken up.

Although I trust my parents advice they had no real influence on the purchase of any of my homes in the UK. Since I was working so much there were some important features that I searched for when I wanted to hire a real estate agent to help me buy and sell. Looking back I wished that I kept my flat as a rental because my earning potential would have been great and the price has skyrocketed compared to what I paid for it.

Below I am going to outline how to find the best real estate agent that will be the perfect fit to help you find your first home. Before I get there though you wanted to know what you should tell your parents? You should tell them that you are a big boy now and you’d like to make your own decisions in life. (Say it nicely and in your own words though) Tell them that you appreciate their love and support but you’d like to find your own real estate agent in town.

If your parents truly care (which I’m sure they do) they will wish you well with possibly more advice because that’s what parents do. They look out for their child and as a father I know I will share any experiences I can with our son as he grows older. Now that you plan to leave home for the first time it will be a difficult transition for them and for you because you only have yourself to answer to.

Take your time making decisions and remember that there are lots of options to choose from when you are buying a house. You don’t have to jump on the very first house that catches your attention unless of course you believe it is the one. Be warned though that if you take too long to decide you risk losing the real estate deal and you’ll never move out. ha!

I hope some of these tips help you and good luck with your education and purchasing your first home. Certainly email me back and let me know how it went for you.



Top Real Estate Companies


Some of the top real estate companies in your area may yield some of the best real estate agents around but that doesn’t mean you can walk in and pick one, buy a house and then live happily ever after. Thing’s don’t quite work that fast.

Making sure that the real estate company or brokerage that you choose to work with has a great reputation in your community is important. Don’t be shy to ask around and see what and who the locals prefer and why. Go to a local coffee shop and mingle with the locals, read the newspapers and scour the phone book.

You can also go online to also the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and use their “Find A Realtor” feature in Canada to start your search. This is a great way to find out what real estate agents are working in your area.

An established company may bring more years of experience but a new company may bring time and knowledge to the table something that many big-time real estate agents don’t have unless they have a team working for them.


Hello…Can you hear me?


One very important aspect of finding the right agent is making sure they have access to email or a smartphone so that you can get in touch with them during working hours. The last thing you wan to do is chase your real estate agent around town to find out what is happening with your home sale or purchase. If you are struggling to connect with him/her from the start I would consider looking into someone different.

The worst thing that I can remember about buying and selling a house is not being able to get in touch with my real estate agent fast enough. Don’t expect your agent to call or text you back in an instant but they should get back to you with-in 24hrs. If you don’t expect to get woken up late at night don’t be trying to contact your agent while the rest of the country is sleeping. Be considerate.

If your agent is not a full-time agent and has another job they go to during the day it may make buying and selling a house a bit of a longer process. I’d recommend hiring an agent who is not busy, has enough support agents to help with their listings (if many) and an agent who works full-time at being a real estate agent.

To find out about how they value time you can test the real estate agent by making a phone call and leaving a message or sending an email asking about certain homes in the area. The faster they respond the happier you should be in the communications department.


Social Media


These days if you don’t have a social media account and you either own a business or work for a business people wonder why. Having a Facebook or Twitter account as it would benefit the company tremendously and shows potential clients that they are willing to put themselves out there. Social media is like sleeping naked without the blankets.

Everyone knows that networking/social networking is essential to the growth of any business including the real estate industry. If you find an agent who enjoys fighting through the cracks for you then you may have scored an agent you want to hang onto.

The problem is not everyone believes in social media even though potential client reach is massive especially if a post or comment goes viral. So if your potential real estate agent is active on social media that is a plus for you. The more reach your real estate agent has the better your chance of buying and selling will be. Sometimes you have to go with the flow and join the crowds.


Building a working relationship


There has to be some form of trust between you and your real estate agent. It’s important to pick up on the signs between a real estate agent who is money hungry and another who truly does care for your well-being. Those real estate agents are the agents who get the most referrals and call-backs than any other agent.


Presentable Attire and Manners


You want your real estate agent to be presentable and professional when dealing with other real estate agents, homeowners and home buyers. Having a rude and unprofessional real estate agent working for you may cost you money and your dream home.

It’s important to make sure that your real estate agent is not shy and are willing to get right in there and find out everything they need to know so they can give you a real estate report on the house you may purchase. If you Google the real estate agent you’re interested in you may even find online reviews about their services. This is the power of the web at your fingertips.


References and Referrals


Any time you are digging for research on a real estate agent you are interested in hiring it would be smart to ask them for references that you could kindly contact. If your real estate agent says he/she doesn’t have any contact information I’d move on and find yourself a new representative. Just about every real estate I know personally love referrals and have references to offer unless of course you are the first client they’ve ever had.

When contacting references all you want to know if they used the real estate agent and how things went for them in the process. You could also ask if there was anything they would do different the next time around. Most homeowners who allow their number to be given out are more than happy to chat so ask questions while you can.

Almost every real estate agent wants referrals so keeping clients happy is important.




Does your potential real estate agent have their own website? If not I’d question why they don’t have a website or page connected to the company that they work for. Having a website or page to showcase their abilities and what houses they have for sale or have sold should be important to any buyer.

You could also ask if the real estate agent has a monthly newsletter and if they write their own real estate columns that you could read.

If your gut tells you no or even maybe, consider finding another agent to interview. Attention to detail is critical and even the smallest but most obvious errors may mean they skip the small stuff when it comes to your future home. When you are paying a real estate agent big bucks you want the best services with nothing overlooked. Having something overlooked or omitted could cost you big bucks down the line.


Open Houses


If you are snooping out a real estate agent to work with you to buy or sell a house don’t be shy to show up to any of their open houses. You want to see the real estate agent in action and how they deal with potential buyers as they come into the sellers home. If the real estate agent is friendly, shakes your hand and offers you the house listing with key features they explain on the spot then you may be onto something.

Bringing kids with you is another great way to tell if something is a good deal or not because kids are so honest with their opinions most times. We’ve had agents who never say a bad thing about any house that we’ve visited as a buyer or has a fix for everything and anything.

Yes, we’ve hired and fired real estate agents and have learned what not to look for and what we want from a real estate agent. I respect a real estate agent who tells it like it is and if they don’t agree with something or if they see shady work, they speak up and tell you.

Related: Are open houses just for nosey neighbours?


Interview Real Estate Agents


Once you narrow your search of real estate agents in town create a list of questions that you would like answers to. It doesn’t have to pertain to house buying but something that shows their dedication to the process and to you, the buyer or seller.

Here are a few questions you may want to ask a potential real estate agent. This list is not inclusive as there are literally hundreds of questions you could ask. These are just some questions that I feel are important to get answers to and that I would ask.

  • How long have you been a full-time real estate agent?
  • What are their working hours and when are you able to contact them?
  • Do they have a website and use social media?
  • How many homes do you currently have on the market?
  • How many homes have they sold?
  • What was the best and worst experience they have had as a real estate agent?
  • What are the latest real estate trends?
  • How much are average homes going for in areas of town you are interested in?
  • Where is the hottest area in town to live in? Why?
  • Do they recommend any service providers?- Mortgage broker, Home Inspector. Why? (I would tend to research my own providers, but that’s just me.)
  • Do they have any references you can contact? Ask for at least 3 “recent” contacts.
  • Always know who the buying and selling real estate agents are in any house transaction. You want someone working for just you not both the seller and the buyer.
  • Will they knock on doors for you if you find a neighbourhood you like but there are no houses for sale?
  • Do they hand out flyers?
  • Ask your potential real estate agent to explain to you the buying or selling process of a home
  • Ask them for any tips that they can provide to you?

What else can you think of?


Real Estate Agent Listings


Another thing we did and I’m sure many of you have done is to look the real estate agent up online and check out any current house listings. If yes, have a look at them and see how they presented the house to the world.

If you are able to find current home listings that the real estate agent has check for any errors. Make sure that the way they present a house for sale is what you would expect as a buyer or seller. Photography is very important so if photos are distorted or they aren’t showing houses to their highest potential, question it.

If you see any problems or things don’t add up I’d consider finding a new real estate agent. It’s important to read all the documentation that is offered at an open house or for any potential buyers. Don’t leave your biggest investment to chance.


Real Estate Agent who cares


In the end after trial and error we finally went with a newer real estate agent who managed to find us the house we are currently living in. Our real estate agent continues to email and call us throughout the year and makes a home visit at Christmas time with a small gift for us and our son. We’ve also connected on Twitter and Facebook. Some years she comes to the house and takes us all out for dinner and a chat. It’s a shame to see how some real estate agents break the tie and lose out on a potential future sale.

If it’s a business, treat it like a business and the clients will come.

When real estate agents go out of their way to keep the relationship connected you have one super-charged real estate agent on your hands. Buying a house is not a small endeavor to jump into but with all the right people on your side you should end up with a spectacular buying and selling process.

Did you have any problems with your real estate agent when you were looking to buy and sell? What did they do differently that you wished they would have done instead of wasting your time?

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  1. I like how you mentioned finding a real estate agent with good communication methods. My husband and I are going to be buying our first house, so we want to make sure this process goes as smoothly as possible. I’m sure we’ll have lots of questions since this is our first time, so I imagine it would be a good idea to find a real estate agent with various forms of communication that we can get in touch with them through.

  2. Thank you for this blog, it is very informative. I can witness that good agent will save you more money than buying on your own. Buying house to live or rent is long time investment and you should not rush. Always pick agent who is long time in business, because they are more patient to close deal than young one. Also don’t forget to offer them additional reward if they lower price for homes you like. Remember cheapest agent is not what you are looking. You are looking to have great deal for property

  3. Another thought would be to drive around the area you are thinking of buying in to see what houses are on the market and who is the agent for those sales. If you keep seeing the same name popping up I would think that agent will know the area fairly well. It’s a place to start at least. The agent we used the last time (almost 24 yrs ago) used to work in construction and had some good ideas about how and what could be changed or done better in houses he was showing us. He was quite honest with us and we worked well with him. Still see him around town, post office being the main place in town, and he always asks how we are doing and so on. Being in a small town too, you tend to hear things about how some do business….good and bad. Pays to listen to that scuttlebutt.

    1. It’s hard to find honest people these days as so many people are just trying to make money. Anything they can do or say to sell an idea or product will happen. For those that do have good intentions it’s nice to have them on your side.

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