Choosing a real estate agent is like choosing an employee. You interview him or her, get a general opinion of their personality, and evaluate their answers to your questions. Then, once you narrow down your search to the candidates you're interested in, you take the same final step a prospective employer would take: you check references. Speak to former clients, and see how satisfied (or dissatisfied!) they are with that particular agent's service.

Once you've tracked down your references, ask specific questions. Was the agent fair? Helpful? Efficient? Did they spring any last-minute surprises? Were they organized? Were they knowledgeable about the market? And, above all, did they get the client the best possible deal on their home?

Ask Questions

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember the basics of human nature. People are generally willing to talk about positive experiences they've had, so if someone is happy with a real estate agent, they'd probably be eager to help that agent get new clients. People are generally even quicker to talk about negative experiences they've had, so if there is negative feedback, you'll surely hear it.

So, how do you track down references? Agent testimonials are a good place to start. Some agents post customer feedback (though usually only the positive stuff) on their websites. If your prospective agent is known throughout your neighbourhood, you can probably find references through word of mouth alone. Also, don't be afraid to ask the agent to provide you with references. If they're good at what they do, they won't mind you doing a little research.