realtor10 – Is familiar with the area.
This may seem obvious, though I can’t tell you how many times I have come across other agents who didn’t do their research. You should never work with an agent who isn’t familiar with the location you are researching. If you get the slightest concern that your agent doesn’t know the town, speak up and address the issue. I’ve had clients who wanted to look in areas I didn’t know well and in those cases I bring along another agent (who I compensate) to help out. Good agents do this all the time and should never feel embarrassed if they don’t know something. The bigger embarrassment comes when they get caught pretending they know an area.

9 – You get along with.
Some house-hunting searches take months (if not years), so you could end up spending a ton of time with your agent. Make it easy on yourself and find someone that you get along with. There are tons of great agents out there, so don’t worry if the first person you meet doesn’t fit perfectly with your expectations. This is a major transaction and shouldn’t be taken lightly; so don’t look for a new best friend, look for someone that can get the job done without driving you mad.

8 – That is experienced in the industry.
I’m not going to place a ton of weight on this item, though it should be addressed. In many cases, going with the young aggressive agent (especially if you are selling your house) can pay off handsomely. You can get a level of attention that many lifelong all-star agents simply don’t have the time to give you. That being said, going with the tried and true is always the safe bet. This is a hard job that isn’t for everyone and it takes years to prove that.

7 – That is familiar with your type of property/price range.
The town I work in, Greenwich, CT, has an extremely broad range of houses on the market. You can spend $30 million (seriously) or $300,000 on a house. Due to this diversity, it is very smart to find an agent that knows your price point and what you are looking for. There are many agents who cover the whole range and are extremely good at it. Those agents are great to work with and prove that it is ok to cover the entire range. The issue comes up for those agents who don’t know certain areas/price points.

6 – That is honest.
This is another obvious item, though many clients take it for granted that their agent is honest. Just like any other profession, there are many real estate agents who for some reason choose the dark side and don’t really come truthful with their clients.

5 – That is familiar with your situation.
There are real estate agents out there who only rent. I don’t get it, but it’s true. There are some real estate agents out there who live in a city and sell in the suburbs. Find an agent that lives in the town you are looking at and one that has actually bought what they are trying to sell.

4 – That is accessible.
Ok, some real estate agents are so busy that they can’t answer phone calls for days. In that case they should have an assistant. Either way, you should always be able to get a hold of your agent or their assistant within a couple hours. Period.

3 – That is aggressive and will fight for you.
Would you rather pay 100 Apples for a house that you love with an agent who you really get along with or would you rather pay 70 Apples for the same house with an agent who you can’t stand? See why this is item 3, not item 9.

2 – That is respected by their peers.
Your agent isn’t going to accomplish much if the other agent (selling or buying) agent they have to work with doesn’t respect them much.

1 –That has ENERGY!
Get out on the road and pound some pavement. Your agent should be working for you and not waiting on your call.