Once you’ve checked that the potential agents on your list deal with homes that fit your needs, it’s time for a little more investigation.
Most real estate agents have a strong online presence with a website and active social media accounts. Much of their success depends on having good name recognition in the community where they work, so they work hard to develop positive relationships with their clients.
To learn about a real estate agent’s reputation, online reviews can be a good place to start. Remember, though, reviews don’t always tell the whole story. Not everyone who is happy bothers to write a review. And negative reviews should be taken in context. Being unhappy because an agent arrived a little late to a showing is significantly different from a complaint about unprofessional or unethical behavior.
Also, be aware that any company can lay down cash on a slick advertising campaign. High-profile advertising is no guarantee that a real estate agent will do a good job for you. Instead, look for an actual endorsement from a trusted source.
Check that the agent is licensed and has the appropriate credentials. Are they members of a professional organization? A few examples: NAR (National Association of Realtors), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative), or SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist). You can also contact the Better Business Bureau for their ranking, and make sure there are no disciplinary actions pending by state regulators.