Choosing a realtor is tricky when you have to filter through all the noise, jargon, and sales pitching the industry is known for. How can you tell if a real estate agent has your genuine interests at heart when they’re promising the kitchen sink? The answer is to keep it simple. That way, you won’t be overwhelmed.
But which characteristics are the most essential? You might think that serial investors seek different attributes in their realtors than first-time buyers. But sticking to the real estate fundamentals can make for a smooth and successful transaction, regardless of your budget.
Nashville, Tennessee’s Bobbi Jo Barnes was recently featured as a top 10 agent for 2023. As a Realtor at simpliHOM, she believes a few core qualities can distinguish a realtor worth their salt from one who doesn’t deserve a dime. Fortunately for homebuyers, sellers, and investors, she has shared the three non-negotiables everybody should remember when choosing an agent to start a relationship with.
1. Accessibility and approachability
If your only expectations of your realtor are a few emails and a signature on a contract, raise them. Don’t be left in the dark—it could lead to the wrong property, a sub-optimal price, or both. Find a realtor who relishes consistent, open communication; it could land you your dream home.
“My clients never bother me,” the realtor says. “It’s my job to be available to answer their questions, research and provide information, show properties, and introduce them to preferred industry professionals. An agent should be 100% hands-on from the start to post-closing.”
Transaction numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. A completed deal doesn’t necessarily mean a happy client. Barnes only works with five clients at once to ensure each receives optimum service, regardless of their price point.
2. Commitment to the cause
It’s all good enlisting a realtor who can get a deal done. But if they haven’t listened to your goals, the outcome may fall short of your standards. Find a real estate agent who works unwaveringly toward your objectives, regardless of how specific they might seem or how long it takes.
“Your realtor works for you,” she says. “The right realtor will do whatever is necessary, as long as it’s legal and ethical, to accommodate your real estate needs and goals.”
For example, you might fervently believe that, in the right circumstances, your ideal property is within your budget. So partner with an agent with their finger on the market’s pulse, and that deal might come to life. Experience is vital here. Barnes is a homeowner and real estate investor and has lived in Nashville since starting her business in 2014.
3. Respect and empowerment
While your realtor should take on most of the responsibility for a transaction, it’s also important to have separation. After all, it’s not their money invested in the property, so they aren’t the right person to make the final call; you are. The best realtors provide support and tenacity, empowering their clients to make informed decisions.
“Your realtor shouldn’t be a salesperson,” the Homesnap Excellence Award winner declares. “They are a relationship builder and a real estate liaison. They should advise you when to sleep on a property, pass on it or make an offer. But ultimately, the pace is set by you.”
When you think about Barnes’ three essential qualities for a realtor, it becomes clear how important they are for buyers, sellers, and investors. Buyers need an agent committed to finding the perfect property, sellers require someone approachable who will listen to their valuation, and investors should be trusted in their eye for a deal.
Real estate might seem complicated at first. But, if you don’t compromise on accessibility, commitment, and empowerment, you might just find a realtor for life.