Hiring a real estate agent is not a regular cup of Joe that you can simply greet, meet, and hire. In fact, hiring an agent should be a considered decision. A large number of agents can be seen marketing themselves through online ads, yard signs, and other mediums, but how can you choose and finalize the best real estate agent for your needs? While there are tons of factors involved here, the following three major aspects should be considered a priority.

1. The best real estate agent is one who knows the business

Ask the prospective agent how long he has been serving the real estate industry. However if you are not comfortable asking the question directly, you can consult a state licensing authority to provide an authentic answer. Whatever the time period, ultimately you want an agent who is active in the particular area of your interest. Ultimately, you’re looking for a real estate agent who is knowledgeable of housing, pricing, and market trends.

2. Study the current listings

Check online for the agent’s listings. Reliable channels to search include Realtor.com and also the agent’s own business website. Checking realtor.com would be a wise decision as you can go through a large database of properties, which is also listed in the Multiple Listing Service, America’s real estate portal.

What you should look for is how attractively and professionally the agent has maintained his/her website. See how close the agent’s listings resemble with the properties you want to purchase or sell.

Ask yourself these questions :

Are the properties in the same area?

Does the price range matches yours?

Does the agent has enough listings that would clearly suggest he has a nice business going?

Or are there too many listings which could put you in a risk of being just a “number to see” rather than a “client” for the agent?

3. Ask about other houses on sale nearby

Apart from his own location of business, a reliable agent should also have the knowledge of properties in other areas that are available. As a test, mention a property in your area that has recently been sold or is currently listed for sale. If the agent is well-acquainted with the industry, he/she should be able to provide you some details.

This point is hire an agent who keeps a bird’s-eye view on the market, and have tremendous knowledge. You don’t want to entrust someone with your property who doesn’t know neighborhood even.