Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Choosing a real estate agent is an important decision. Perhaps more important than most people realize. In addition, making the right choice may not be as easy as you think. Keep in mind our goal is to educate you and simplify the process for you. In other words, we want to keep it simple while giving you good information to make the right decision.

What’s so hard about choosing an agent?

According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States (based on 2018 statistics).1 There are over 1400 active members in our local Montgomery Area Multiple Listing Service. That is a lot of agents to choose from.

So how do you go about choosing the right agent from a field of so many? Is it best to just go with that family member or friend? Or how about recommendations from people you may work with? Or should you choose the agent that has been in the community for the past 20 years or more?

Those are all considerations. However, there are some other factors you may wish to consider. You want to feel confident you are choosing the right agent for you.

Choosing a real estate agent: What to consider

So what are the important considerations when choosing the agent that’s right for you?

  1. Technical Knowledge and Credentials: Yes, technical knowledge and credentials are an important consideration. You want an agent who is up to date on the market, negotiation, marketing, and real estate laws, rules, and regulations.
  2. Professional: Professionalism is important. Your agent will be working to represent you with the public, other members of the team (lenders, other agents, attorneys). You want to be confident that your agent will reflect the professionalism you deserve.
  3. Skilled in Getting Results: We all know people who know a lot of information and can be professional. But they may have trouble using that information to get the job done. You want to make sure your agent can actually work with you to find that home or to get your home sold. You want the process to go as smoothly as possible and to close on time.
  4. Conscientious and Trustworthy: There are opportunities for frustrations and pitfalls in the home buying and home selling process. You want to know that your agent is on top of things, follows up and that they are looking out for your best interests.
  5. Personable and Likable: Most real estate agents with the four characteristics above will be able to work reasonably effectively with others. But above all, you want to be sure that YOU view your agent as personable and likable. You will be working together closely during your home search or home selling process. It is very important that you don’t forget to factor in that you actually like them when choosing a real estate agent. It is important that you feel comfortable and have positive feelings about your agent.

Read more details of how to choose an amazing real estate agent: HERE

Real estate agent or REALTOR® — does it matter?

To complicate things a bit, many people think mistakenly that the terms real estate agent and REALTOR® are synonymous. But they are not. Not all agents are REALTORS®.

According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® , “the term REALTOR® has one, and only one, meaning”2:

“REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.” 2 The REALTOR® Code of Ethics, goes beyond the requirements of State License Law. It includes 17 articles. According to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, a member has many additional responsibilities. And above all, for a REALTOR® the responsibilities to the customer, client and the public are paramount.

In fact, nationally of the about 2 million agents, approximately 1,383,000 are REALTORS® 1. That is just about 70%. Keep in mind there can be great real estate agents who are not REALTORS®. However, maintaining membership in the national association as a REALTOR® has many requirements with significant potential benefits to clients, customers, the public, and the profession.

As I’ve mentioned before:

Please keep in mind many of the principles in the videos and on this website may apply to you wherever you are.  But… please be cautious because this info is based on Alabama Real Estate and particularly the Montgomery Area and our Association of REALTORS® .  Your state and local real estate laws, rules, and customs are likely to be different.  So be sure to check with a local agent if you are outside the Montgomery Alabama area. 

If you need help in finding a real estate agent closer to you, let me know.  I am connected to a nationwide network of awesome agents and would be happy to help you.


1 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) : includes NAR citation from the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) 

2NAR definition of REALTOR® :