Nine Attributes of an Exceptional Real Estate Agent

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Before Christmas I posted a blog about a show we did in the SWS Virtual Studio called "Are You the Best Real Estate Agent You Know?" In that blog, I described three reasons you might WANT to BE the best agent you know, and promised to continue the conversation with some concrete attributes or characteristics that someone who IS the best agent they know might possess.

So, 'cause I usually keep my promises, below are nine attributes (skills, services and masteries) of what an agent I'd be excited to hire to represent me should bring to the table:

1. Market Mastery - the agent understands the nuances of the local real estate market - at least the segmentNeighborhood of it that affects ME!

2. MLS Mastery
- the agent is intimately familiar with the MLS and therefore makes pricing recommendations based on data that is complete, relevant and accurate.

contract3. Contract (and Disclosure) Mastery
- the agent understands and can explain each and every provision in the contracts and disclosures I'll be asked to sign, and ensures that I understand how each provision affects me.

4. Pricing Expertise
- related to #1, the agent understands the nuances of the specific market area(s) that I'm buying or selling in, and how various features and amenities (or lack thereof) affect the market value of the properties there.

5. Photography Skills
(or willingness to hire a photographer) - the agent understands the importance of having great photos online and is willing to invest the time and money to either take great photos him or herself, or hire someone to do it.

6. Basic Understanding of Home Construction, Repair and Local Architecture
- while I don't expect my agent to be a licensed contractor, I do expect them to understand basic issues of home construction and repair so they can speak intelligently to me about issues that may arise during our transaction. This knowledge will enhance their credibility with me tremendously.

7. Good Problem-Solving and Negotiating Skills
- the agent doesn't fall apart and go all drama-queen (or king) on me when the going gets a little rocky. They stay calm and focused, and tackle the problem head-on. They are skilled, confident negotiators.

8. A Great Team -
the agent has a great team. If I need a referral to the best lender, inspector, handyman, house-cleaner, structural contractor, roofer or painter in town, my agent knows who that is and will set me up.

9. Great Systems in Place to Track Transactions 
- the agent has detailed checklists and follow-ups in place so that things don't slip through the cracks or get forgotten when they get busy or distracted.

So, whatcha' think? Do these sound like the characteristics of an agent you'd hire to take care of your real estate transaction? Any others you'd like to add... or any of these you don't think belong on the list?

If you'd like to participate in a survey I'm doing on the matter, just go here: and tell us what YOU think!


Posted by

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!










Re-Blogged 14 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Phil Leng 12/28/2011 11:19 AM
  2. Cal Yoder 12/28/2011 12:18 PM
  3. . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC 12/29/2011 02:11 AM
  4. James Lyon 12/29/2011 04:20 AM
  5. Frank Rubi 12/29/2011 04:45 AM
  6. Kimi Sharp 12/29/2011 05:47 AM
  7. Sandy McAlpine 12/29/2011 09:54 AM
  8. Irene Wertheimer 12/29/2011 12:08 PM
  9. Gabe Sanders 01/01/2012 10:16 PM
  10. Dale Taylor 01/02/2012 09:56 AM
  11. Sergio Rebollo Jr. 01/02/2012 10:56 AM
  12. Leslie Roche 01/18/2012 01:16 AM
  13. Demarco & Marisa 08/26/2012 04:11 PM
  14. Joyce Marsh 03/27/2016 05:22 PM
Real Estate Rookie
Learn to be a Top Producing Listing Agent
Selling Soulfully
Silent Majority
Real Estate Professionals
all blogs
the exceptional agent

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Jennifer, Great post and great list.  And very original post!

Dec 30, 2011 09:11 AM #114
Corinne Whitehead
RE/MAX At Barnegat Bay - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Realtor Jersey Shore Homes for Sale

This is an awesome article, Thanks Jennifer! 

In a time when tons of information is readily available to everyone online, it's nice to point out the essential knowledge and expertise that an agent brings to the transaction.  While I agree that this is a "people" business, I would definitely add the "HONESTY and TRUST" factor as well, because that is really what people value, not how bubly your personality is. 

Dec 30, 2011 09:38 AM #115
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Jennifer - This is a very good list you've put together. I'm sure there are more things we could add. I don't think people realize what's involved in being a Realtor! Happy New Year!

Dec 30, 2011 01:51 PM #116
Julie Stevenson
Coldwell Banker Hubbell Briarwood, Okemos, MI - Okemos, MI

Excellent list!  #6 is on my to-do list for 2012.  I think it is really important to know basic home repair skills, especially when working with first time buyers.  Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2011 04:02 AM #117
Linda S. Cefalu, Broker Assoc.
Coldwell Banker Homesale Realty - Hales Corners, WI
I'll Take You Home

I know I'm a little off topic, but after reading through Daniel's heartbreaking story, I just had to plug in my 2 cents. 

My hubby went in for a normal physical about 8 years ago.  They did all the normal tests and found that his cholesterol was higher than it should be.  They hounded and hounded us, even calling me and threatening me that if he didn't take the meds they prescribed that he would die from this and it was my duty as his wife to persuade him!!

We did a lot of research and found that stress also causes high cholesterol.  He changed careers, stopped eating peanut butter, added almonds and Cheerios daily to his diet and low and behold three months later the doctor was so impressed that the medicine was working.  Huh?  My hubby told them he hadn't taken one single pill, but just made some life changes.

The doctor and nurses were shocked and when we asked them why they didn't suggest diet change first?  Their answer was, "because we find that most people won't follow it anyway".  Needless to say, I was livid. 

Oh, and by the way, the medicine they wanted him to take?  It was on the national news two weeks later.  They pulled them from the shelves because they were causing people to die of sudden heart attack and are no longer being sold to this day.   Go figure.

It is not up to the professionals to determine what our patients or clients want to hear.  It is up to us to speak the truth and nothing but the truth and let them decide for themselves how to proceed.  

And Daniel, I too am so truly sorry for the pain this must have caused you and your family. 

Dec 31, 2011 04:44 AM #118
Gail Swanson

This is a great list, and really makes me think about which items I should brush up on.  I will suggest that my clients demand all of these things from their realtors, whether they choose me or not.  Every realtor is not a good fit for every buyer/seller, but clients definitely deserve this type of service.  I LOVE this website, and all of the positive things I learn here.  THANK YOU JENNIFER!  And to all of the SWS agents out there, Please let me know if you ever come to Maui. :) Alohaaaaa, Gail  

Dec 31, 2011 06:24 AM #119
DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas

Excellent list, Jennifer and I'm in! Loved the "shirtless guy video"!

Jan 01, 2012 02:33 PM #120
Susan& Charlie Ahern
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Coronado, CA
Owner & Broker, Coronado Real Estate 4 Sale 619-92

This business is really for the perfectionists. Meaning to be perfect at everything you do or else outsoure to a perfect professional. Otherwise, you won't last.

Cruel but true.


Jan 02, 2012 06:09 AM #121
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Hi Jennifer and thanks for the post!    The competencies you list equate in my mind with professionalism, and I'm still surprised when I find an agent lacking in professionalism but selling lots of real estate anyway based on prospecting or closing skills or some kind of magnetic personality.

When I encounter  incompetence, it makes me wish for a higher barrier to entry to this career where we are responsible for handling one of most peoples' largest investment and biggest decisions of their lives.

But even assuming competence, I suspect some agents are at best very disorganized, or more likely, just lazy.   Case in point: one of my first time buyers often brings his mom along.    I was apalled to hear that she'd purchased a home from an agent who was double ending the transaction, but did nothing for her.    In fact, when she called him, a few weeks into the escrow to ask how the transaction was going, he didn't recognize her name.

I'm looking forward to your upcoming blog (your comment #39).


Jan 02, 2012 06:25 AM #122
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Thanks, M.C. and I appreciate the nudge to DO that follow-up blog I promised... I'll get that on the list!

Jan 02, 2012 08:03 AM #123
Sergio Rebollo Jr.
Real Estate TeamMates - Miami, FL

Hello Jennifer...great points!!  If you don't mind I will re-blog.  Very well said.  Thank you for sharing.

Jan 02, 2012 10:50 AM #124
Thanks for giving that information,This is very useful to us.thanks again,we visit your website again.
Jan 03, 2012 06:04 PM #125
Ron Cooks
The Real Estate Marketplace - Killeen, TX
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale

Jennifer, yet another great post!  I've copied it and pinned over my desk.  Thanks for the info!

Jan 03, 2012 06:43 PM #126
Walethia Aquil
Grace and Charm - Flushing, MI
Transforming professionals from Invisible to Impec

Great list, I've passed it on to my friends in real estate.

Jan 07, 2012 05:57 AM #127
Christine Blaski
Cornerstone Real Estate - Frisco, CO
Frisco, Summit County CO Realtor

Thanks for this Jennifer. As always I appreciate it!

Excellent timing for refining our goals for the year and as we move forward as a professional in this business.

Jan 07, 2012 10:50 AM #128
Kathy Sheehan
Bay Equity, LLC 770-634-4021 - Atlanta, GA
Senior Loan Officer

Well said!  That is a terrific list.  Not a drama king/queen is the best advice!

Jan 18, 2012 01:28 AM #129
Aaron Vaughn | Builder | Investor
Conifer Homes - Fischer, TX
If the deal makes sense, the cash will follow.


Well after reading this list, I feel a LOT better about myself! I am 9 for 9! Yeah, and humble, too. =)

Jun 09, 2012 07:19 AM #130
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Excellent list of skills to make one a competent real estate agent.

Jul 15, 2012 10:26 PM #131
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Great list! I have most of them. I'll work on my weak areas.

Oct 19, 2012 02:55 AM #132
Robin Holliday
Wainwright Real Estate, Virginia Beach, Virginia - Virginia Beach, VA


Great post!....although I haven't read all the comments and I see there are many. These are all great attributes a good agent should strive to deliver to each and every client and some others  that come to mind are.. have a good ear to listen to what a clients motivation is and any concerns they may have. The client needs to be reassurred that they have an agent that communicates well with agents showing their home and is on top of their game when it comes to "answering their phones" and setting their appointments. Thanks for having a soulful selling heart!..and great blogs!

Feb 04, 2013 08:07 AM #133
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
Ask me a question
Spam prevention