Choosing the Right Agent

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Ginny Enbody Realty, llc


"I happily referred a couple of agents who came highly recommended and whom I thought would be a good fit for clients moving out-of-state who didn't want a previously bad home-buying experience repeat itself.  In a follow up email they asked me how to know if he or she would be a good fit.  Thus the following excerpt from an email: 

"Some traits of a good buyer agent (some I'm sure will dictate a better fit than others):

  • Honesty
  • Respect
  • Listening skills
  • Organized
  • More interested in helping you find the right home than racking up a sale
  • Specific knowledge of the neighborhood (and sale history - e.g., median price over last year) of the area(s) you target
  • Negotiating skills
  • Experience
  • Detail-oriented
  • Follow-up
  • Conscientious
  • Takes your questions seriously and addresses concerns
  • Accommodates to your schedule (and you to theirs)
  • Not blinded by curb appeal - tells you the good, bad, ugly
  • Runs comparables of homes under consideration
  • Provides referrals to reliable attorneys, home inspectors, tradespeople, etc.
  • Experience working with sellers


  • Make a list of pros and cons (another one!) of agents you speak to
  • Would both of you feel comfortable working with that agent?
  • Does the agent hold realtor designations? E.g., CBR, ABR and/or CRS designation - which means they've taken the time to be the best buyer's agent they can be
  • Do they have the Realtor designation?  Some good agents may not hold that designation (but it does mean they've taken ethics training).


  • Particulars of the transaction process in CA which are different from MA
  • What does the buyer agency agreement entail
  • How they usually work with buyers

"When I first meet, email or speak to a potential buyer, I want to get a sense of them to see if we'd be a good match:

  • Why they are buying
  • Their lifestyle - which goes a long way toward explaining what homes would be a good match and directs the rest of the search
  • Have they been pre-approved?  If not, I recommend reliable lenders before our first meeting.
  • Amount and flexibility of down-payment
  • Time frame
  • If children are (or will be) in the picture (e.g., lead paint law, schools, etc.)
  • Have they met with other agents
  • How much do they want me to be involved in the transaction
  • Knowledge of the local market
  • Best way to communicate
  • Plus the usual as to location, schedules, and anything they can think I should know to make it the purchase of their home a pleasant experience

"Personally, in the past, I shopped around for agents by talking with them at open houses (if they weren't too busy) mostly because I like to collect as much information as possible before I commit - but as we both know you can garner a lot from the web.  I wouldn't recommend signing in at open houses until you secure an agent or everyone will be calling you - some aggressively.  I suggest taking a listing sheet and/or business card instead to take quick notes on the agent.

"Name a time if you want to talk!"








Comments (6)

Linda Powers
Resort Realty - Duck - Duck, NC
On the Outer Banks


This is fabulous. We all should read this for self-evaluation.

Jan 08, 2010 05:21 AM
Tony Lewis
Summit Real Estate Group - Valencia, CA
Summit Real Estate Group Valencia & Aliso Viejo

Ginny Enbody,

I was looking for a Realtor back east that may be interested in referring their clients to me.  You are someone that I would be proud to work with. One important factor in choosing a Realtor is that they know the community that they serve and understand the meaning and obligation of being a fiduciary!

I am Tony Lewis and work with RE/MAX of Valencia in Valencia, Stevenson Ranch, Santa Clarita, California.  We are located 32 miles from downtown Los Angeles.  It takes about a half hour to get to the Music Center and Staples Center from Valencia, Ca. if there is no traffic. 

Our community is listed as one of the safest in the USA, it's home of Six Flags Magic Mountain, a TPC at Valencia Westridge Golf Course, Valencia Country and a Westfield Mall.  Please keep me in mind if you have clients coming out west.  Do you have an idea on the best way to promote my location and service?


Tony Lewis

Learn more about the Santa Clarita Valley Location at

Feb 01, 2010 11:41 AM

Hi, Tony:

Your site links already promote your area and generates lots of energy which says a lot to someone looking for a Realtor.  BTW, who are the major employers in Santa Clarita area?

Beyond sustaining relationships and referrals and developing and analyzing solid information for consumers, I think video clips are the way to go on sites and presentations for promotions to buyers and sellers since - depending on the subject of your shoot - usually tell a better story than a photograph. 

Thank you for your support and request for referrals.  (Of course, I always welcome referrals.)

Feb 03, 2010 05:35 AM
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Ginny,  This is a very informative blog, thank you.  I am moving from Dallas into your area and am impressed with the level of professionalism I am reading here on AR from the people in Cambridge.

Sep 01, 2010 05:41 AM


This is always nice to hear.  Let me know when you're in the area.  (Dallas to Cambridge is quite a move!)

Best wishes,


Sep 11, 2010 04:26 AM
Jark Krysinski *PREC (Personal Real Estate Corporation)

Hi Ginny - I'm getting my IRES Designation in Vancouver, BC, Canada today and I noticed that you have a IRES designation as well.  Look forward to chatting some more with you with respect to co-listing each other's properties.  Interested in speaking further?  Cheers, Jark.

Jul 26, 2012 10:22 AM