As a home seller or buyer, you want to hire the best real estate agent who can help

you get the most out of your transaction. The right agent will find you the perfect

house or sell your home for a good price, saving you money and headaches along

the way. But with 1.5 million active real estate agents in the country, choosing the

best one for your needs can feel daunting. Fortunately, NerdWallet has compiled

expert advice on how to pick the right realtor for you.


If you’re selling your home, start by asking friends and family for recommendations.

You should also consider scouring online portals such as Zillow, which highlight local

agents and their recent sales. Attending open houses can be an excellent

opportunity to meet potential real estate agents and learn about their services.

But don’t put too much weight on an agent’s past experience, even if it’s in your

area. That’s because many sellers — 56%, according to Zillow — end up picking the

first agent they speak with, based on their prior success or their local reputation.

This can be a mistake. Taking the time to interview multiple agents and compare

their responses can help you make the most informed decision about who to work

with. For more info

When you’re interviewing prospective agents, start by identifying your goals. If

you’re buying a home, you need an agent who knows the neighborhood well and can

guide you through properties that fit within your budget. If you’re selling, an agent

who has successfully sold homes in your neighborhood is a plus.

Ask your potential agent to explain their business plan and how they expect to help

you achieve your goals. You should also get a sense of their personality and working

style. It’s important to choose an agent who can establish rapport with you and

whose approach matches your own.

Another thing to pay attention to is the amount of time an agent spends on client

calls and emails. If they’re answering emails and texts in between showings, they

may not be able to give your property the attention it deserves. On the other hand,

an agent who responds quickly and thoroughly to your questions shows that they

prioritize your business.

Finally, ask your potential agent to provide details about their marketing strategy

and what kind of support they offer clients during the closing process. For example,

some agents have virtual assistants who handle basic administrative tasks, so you

may be able to save some money by working with an assistant rather than the agent


Finally, ask about their fee structure and what you should expect to pay in

commission. Typically, the listing agent will charge 5% to 6% of the selling price of

your home. Some agents also charge a flat upfront fee, which can be helpful if you

need to sell your home quickly. Ask your prospective agent about their fees and

what they include before you sign a contract.