Find a Realtor
Finding a great Realtor, or a real estate agent who’s a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), is a mix of art and science. The art is finding someone who fits with your personality. The science is using data to find someone who’s proven themselves to be a fantastic agent who can sell your home quickly and for a good price.

You can get recommendations from friends or family, do some Google searches to find reviews of local Realtors, or search the NAR database. You can call up agencies you see on online ads or billboards, and try to determine if they’re a good fit based on a 5-minute conversation.

But that can all take a lot of time and effort. And when you’re getting ready to sell or buy a house, any time and effort you can save is a good thing.

Here are some tips on finding a Realtor quickly.

Use search tools that pull data on agents’ real estate transactions.

One of the ways to find a Realtor who’s proven themselves is to use a search tool that includes more than just reviews from customers (although those are certainly helpful, too).

HomeLight’s “Find an Agent” tool, for example, pulls data on Realtors’ historical transactions, and narrows them down by neighborhood to recommend two or three top performing agents who are a good match for your needs.

Other available tools include Effective Agents and the NAR “Find a Member” database.

Interview at least two or three agents before committing.

Just as you’d always get two or three quotes from a contractor for a house project before deciding whom to hire, you should interview at least two or three agents before you decide to go with one.

You’re trying to get a good feel for a few different things:

  • Their sales history
  • Their areas of expertise
  • How well they know your neighborhood and area
  • Whether they’re a good fit, personality-wise

To do this, you’ll want to ask these questions, among others:

  • How many homes have you sold in the past 12 months?
  • What’s your average days on market?
  • What are your priorities for buyers or sellers?
A great Realtor will be able to not only negotiate and market your home on your behalf, but also advise you on how to get the best value for your home if you’re selling, or how to identify great value if you’re buying.

That could mean walking through your home and identifying outdated home features to fix up before selling, or giving you a heads up on specific details to observe when doing a walkthrough. Insights from top agents can be extremely helpful when it comes to figuring out where to put your home improvement money.

Think hard before hiring a friend or friend of the family who has their real estate license.
As tempting as it can be to go with a friend of the family who sells real estate part-time, it’s not always a good idea.

While the rapport and personality fit may well be there, if he or she is undertaking your transaction mainly as a favor, you probably won’t get the level of service and attention to detail that you would from a full-time Realtor. It’s also more difficult to ask a friend the kind of data- and sales-based questions about performance that you would a Realtor you don’t know.

Finding a great Realtor doesn’t have to take hours, days, or weeks. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to find, interview, and hire the right Realtor for your home buying or selling journey in no time flat.